Brittany ComakMay 18, 2017, 3:45 pmMay 19, 2017, 9:42 am

Northport considers zoning change that would allow hotels in downtown area

Those who agree with the change believe it would boost tourism

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The Village of Northport is mulling a popular plan to bring an inn to the bustling downtown area, but in order to do that, officials will have to change zoning codes.

The owners of the John W. Engeman Theater recently purchased a building directly across Main Street with the goal of turning it into an inn.

In order to convert the building, the village laws would need to be updated. Currently, there is nothing in the village code that would allow for hotels in or around Main Street.

The proposal was reportedly a hot topic at a meeting this week, where the majority of those attending voiced their support for the zoning change.

"I think it's a great idea because we get an awful lot of people who come here in the summer,” Northport resident Pat Mucciolo said. “I think it'll be great for business."

Gaye Iorio who visits the village frequently from Huntington said a hotel would be a welcome change for non-residents.

"I think the proposal to have a hotel in Northport would be wonderful, not only for the boaters but also for restaurants and the town itself. I think it would bring a lot of business to town, so I think it would be great," Iorio said.

But some worry about the already limited parking in the area and are concerned a hotel or hotels could create a traffic headache.

To combat those concerns, the zoning change could include a rule that would require each room in a hotel or inn to be matched with a parking space within a lot that the owners would create.

The zoning change will be reviewed by both the Village of Northport Planning Board and the Suffolk County Zoning Commission.

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