The 6.68-acre site in Calverton where a an asphalt and concrete crushing and screening facility is planned. Image : Google Earth

A proposed asphalt and concrete crushing and screening facility on Middle Road in Calverton will be the subject of a public “scoping session” at Thursday’s planning board meeting.

The purpose of the session, scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday, is to obtain public comments on the proposal by Breezy Hill Group VI to establish the facility on a 6.68-acre site at 1792 Middle Road, east of Twomey Avenue, where the company plans to operate two crushing/screening equipment stations, and maintain a total of five asphalt/concrete stockpiles, according to the application for site plan approval.

An existing house on the property will be converted to office use and an existing garage will be used for storage space. An existing swimming pool will be removed and a small manmade pond will be filled, according to documents filed with the town. Truck traffic will enter from Manor Road, while office traffic will enter from Middle Road.

The property, improved and formerly used as a single-family residence, is located in the Industrial A zoning use district.

In addition to site plan approval from the planning board, the project requires a solid waste management/materials recovery facilities permit permit from the N.Y. State Department of Environmental Conservation. It also requires a wastewater disposal permit from the Suffolk County health department.

The planning board last May determined the proposed action is likely to have a significant adverse impact upon the environment and issued a positive declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), triggering the requirement for a draft environmental impact statement.

A portion of the site on Feb. 7, as seen from the adjoining property to the east.
Photo: Denise Civiletti

The purpose of a scoping session is to scope out the environmental review required. The session is intended to aid the lead agency in the review — in this case the Riverhead Town Planning Board — in crafting a “scoping statement” that outlines the topics and analyses of potential environmental impacts to be addressed in a draft environmental impact statement.

In making its determination of significance and finding that the proposed action may have a significant potential adverse impact on the health, welfare and the environment, the planning board last May cited the following reasons:

“The use poses potential threats to the groundwater supply in an area where public water infrastructure is not currently available and whose water usage for uses in the surrounding is provided via wells fed directly from groundwater

“The use has the potential increase heavy industrial traffic along roadways within an area containing residential, rural, and industrial use

“The use has the potential to degrade existing roadway and infrastructure as a result of increase heavy industrial traffic
The use has the potential to increase noise levels and present impacts to neighboring residential uses.

“As a result of illegal land clearing by the applicant, the use has the potential to create significant adverse visual impacts to neighboring residential properties.”

Google Earth satellite images of the site in September 2019, left, and May 2016, right, before land clearing.

The applicant cleared trees and vegetation on the site without the required permit, according to town officials, and commenced operations at the site without the required site plan approval. The town issued violations to the property owner; they remain pending in Riverhead Justice Court, Deputy Town Attorney Erik Howard said last week.

The applicant has submitted a draft scoping statement for the planning board to consider. The town has hired environmental consultant Jeffrey Seeman to assist the planning board in the SEQRA process for this application, with the cost of his services to be borne by the applicant, as per the state statute.

Breezy Hill Group VI LLC purchased the property in 2016 from Pirraglia Plaza LLC for $1.25 million, according to county land records. The site is bordered on the west by agricultural and industrial uses (Suffolk Cement) and on the east and south (across Middle Road) by residential uses.

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