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Staten Island Shopping Center Seeks Exemption To Avoid Land Use Review

A satellite view at the planned site for the Riverside Galleria shopping center on Staten Island

Melohn Properties has come under fire for its alleged attempt to skirt the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for its Staten Island shopping center project.

Riverside Galleria, the 470K SF shopping center proposal on Arthur Kill Road just south of the Outerbridge Crossing on the west side of the island, initially included an extension of Richmond Valley Road. Now, the developer has appealed to the Board of Standards and Appeals to reclassify that extension as a driveway, which would exempt the plan from the ULURP, DNAinfo reports.

"Those of us who have been open to the project, those of us who have been supportive [of] this project from day one have said our major concerns are traffic," Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said in a Facebook Live video on Monday. "The road that was featured as one of the relief valves for Arthur Kill Road is now in fact a 'driveway.'"

The Riverside Galleria's official website still referenced the extension as "the opening of Richmond Valley Road west of Arthur Kill Road" as of Wednesday. Any development that would put a street on the city map must go through the ULURP, including community board and city council votes, before the Department of Buildings can grant it a certificate of occupancy.

"This is problematic," Oddo said. "You will see this loophole exploited again and again across Staten Island."

Representatives for Melohn released a statement promising to widen Arthur Kill Road and meet with Oddo to ensure compliance. Riverside Galleria is set to include mid- to high-end retail stores, restaurants, a dine-in movie theater, waterfront park space and a wetlands preserve.