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Town board set to approve Suffolk Theater site plan for trailer and eight-foot fence at special meeting Thursday morning

A trailer to be used as a 'green room' for the Suffolk Theater has been placed behind the theater and awaits town board approval. Photo: Denise Civiletti

The town board will take up a site plan application by the Suffolk Theater at a special meeting tomorrow morning at 10:30 in Riverhead Town Hall.

The theater had to vacate a rented space it’s used as a “green room” for performers located in an adjacent building owned by the law firm of Esseks, Hefter, Angel, DiTalia & Pasca. The law firm terminated the theater’s tenancy after theater owner Bob Castaldi erected a temporary fence around a 6,800-square-foot area of the parking lot located behind the theater.

Castaldi’s company Pike Realty owns some of the area inside the fence and has an exclusive easement over some of it. The town granted the easement to Pike Realty in 2006, one year after it sold the theater and some land north of the building to Pike Realty for $707,000.

After Castaldi erected the temporary fencing in late May, the law firm served him with a notice to terminate the tenancy as of July 31. It then served him with eviction papers on Aug. 1.

Castaldi filed a site plan application with the town, seeking permission to place a trailer — for use as a green room — and an eight-foot stockade fence around the 6,800-square-foot area of the parking lot behind the theater. The Riverhead Town Board held a public hearing on the site plan application last Wednesday — at which a lawyer with the firm, Lisa Ross, objected to the application.

But before the town board could make a decision on the theater’s site plan application, on the morning after the hearing, the sheriff served Castaldi with a 72-hour notice to vacate the premises.

Tomorrow morning, the town board will consider a resolution approving an “administrative site plan” to allow the placement of a temporary trailer behind the theater for use as a green room and an erection of an eight-foot stockade fence around land owned by the theater. 

Castaldi said in an interview last week he needs to have a functional green room by Friday, when the theater’s next show is scheduled to take the stage.

The theater has already had a trailer delivered to the rear of the theater and has installed several fence posts to the west of the trailer.

The town is “marking up” the July 18, 2017 site plan submitted to the planning department that was the subject of last week’s public hearing, Supervisor Sean Walter said today.

Ross, the attorney at the Esseks, Hefter law firm, could not be reached for comment.

Fence posts have been erected along the walkway leading to the entrance of the law firm’s property next door. Photo: Denise Civiletti
The temporary fencing installed by the Suffolk Theater in May remains in place but will have to be removed under the site plan the town board is set to approve tomorrow. Photo: Denise Civiletti
Suffolk Theater’s site plan filed with the planning department in July. Photo: Denise Civiletti


Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.