Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren has proposed rezoning the Schmidt’s Market property to workforce housing if the landlord doesn’t reverse course and renew the market’s lease, Dan’s Papers has learned.
Warren made the ultimatum after the property owner did not respond to a letter the mayor sent urging the landlord to reverse a decision to put the land up for sale, forcing Schmidt’s to close after 43 years, instead of allowing the shopkeepers to renew their lease.
“If the owner of the property is unable to continue leasing to the store, the village has an obligation to address the need for workforce housing in Southampton by rezoning this parcel as part of a larger plan of action to focus on the need for workforce housing,” Warren said. “The Comprehensive Master Plan the board just passed last month calls for 100% workforce housing for this area.”
Recent news that the popular market was about to close its doors sparked public outcry from local residents and customers who patronize the family-run grocery on North Sea Road. Warren said he never heard back from the landlord.
The proposed zoning change to allow workforce housing at the site comes after the village board unanimously voted on September 20 for the Comprehensive Master Plan following a year and half of debate.
Workforce housing generally refers to housing that is affordable to middle-income workers which includes professions such as police officers, firefighters, teachers, healthcare workers, and retail clerks, according to the village’s plan.
The landlord could not be reached for comment.