A proposed 412,000-square-foot light industrial park on Middle Country Road in Calverton gained preliminary site plan approval yesterday in a unanimous vote by the Riverhead Planning Board.
The project, proposed by HK Ventures of Great Neck, calls for constructing eight buildings for warehousing and manufacturing on 30 acres of vacant land. The space will be able to accommodate 60 tenants, mainly small- and medium-sized businesses, the developers have said.
Last month, speakers at a public hearing on the application reiterated objections to the project, which they said would negatively affect local traffic and the character of the area.
The proposal was subject to a lengthy environmental review process over the last few years. The State Environmental Quality Review Act findings statement adopted by the Planning Board states that the project will not have significant negative environmental impacts, as long as certain conditions are met. Among those conditions is the completion of the intersection reconstruction at Edwards Avenue and Middle Country Road, which has “significant congestion,” according to the findings statement. Construction of the improvements to the intersection by the New York State Department of Transportation are expected to be completed in late 2024 or early 2025, according to the DOT.
No building permits can be issued for the project until the improvements to the Edwards Avenue intersection are completed, Planning Board Vice Chairperson Ed Densieski noted during the vote. HK Ventures has sued the Planning Board seeking to annul the findings statement over the requirement, which the company says in court filings is “arbitrary and capricious” because it “lacks any rational basis” and puts an “unlawful moratorium” on the project. That lawsuit is pending.
The Riverhead Town Board is currently considering a moratorium on industrial development in the Calverton hamlet. However, HK Ventures would not be affected by the moratorium due to exemptions in the proposed moratorium law. Council Member Tim Hubbard, sponsor of the moratorium, said he has the support of two other Town Board members to enact the moratorium.
In other action this week, the Planning Board:
- Began the environmental review process for a proposed 74,000-square-foot multi-tenant warehouse addition to an existing 140,000-square-foot multi-tenant warehouse building on a 28-acre industrial parcel at 4195 Middle Country Road in Calverton. The developer, JPD Calverton, proposes demolishing an existing 5,616-square-foot building at the site. The Planning Board classified the proposal as a Type 1 action pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act and initiated lead agency for the site plan. It also retained LK McLean Associates as traffic consultants for the project.
- Granted final approval to a site plan application seeking to build a 18,000-gallon propane tank at a two-acre industrial site in Calverton on Edwards Avenue.
- Granted final approval to a site plan application seeking to demolish and reconstruct two existing buildings at Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, along with other site improvements.
- Adopted the final scope for the preparation of a draft environmental impact statement in connection with the site plan application by Breezy Hill Group IV to establish an asphalt and concrete crushing and screening facility at a 6.683 acre parcel at 1792 Middle Road, Calverton.
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