F1 Long Island set to settle suits, move forward with go-kart project

12/06/2013 3:24 PM |
F1 LONG ISLAND MODEL

A model of the planned F1 go-kart facility as it appears on the company’s website.

A settlement appears likely in two lawsuits filed by F1 Long Island against Riverhead Town in 2009, and that company now intends to proceed with its application to build a go-kart track on Edwards Avenue in Calverton.

The Riverhead Town Planning Board on Thursday rescinded a 2009 resolution it approved that rejected the final environmental impact study for F1 Long Island, a move the precipitated the lawsuits.

“There are actions pending in state and federal court, and it looks like the Town Board is possibly going to settle with the applicant,” planning board attorney Bill Duffy told the board Thursday night. “The applicant has expressed a willingness to revise his FEIS. If the board remembers, the reason this was denied in the first place was because there was a disagreement over whether their FEIS was sufficient or not, and it kind of hit a stalemate.

“Then the applicant actually requested that we deny the application so he could pursue his remedies in court, so this board accommodated him and denied it.”

Mr. Duffy said F1 Long Island has now expressed a willingness to revise its FEIS and resolve that issue.

The resolution to rescind the FEIS rejection doesn’t totally end the litigation, Mr. Duffy said.

“It’s a piece of the puzzle. The final terms of the stipulation have not been resolved, but we are taking this step with the understanding that we have an agreement in principal and that the lawsuit is going to be resolved,” he said.

Marc Leibowitz, the CEO of F1, said in an interview that he could not discuss the details of the proposed settlement, but confirmed the company intended to proceed with the application.

“We are looking forward to the leadership that’s at the town now to make sure things are done correctly,” he said. “We want to build this. There’s been a lot of groundswell for this project. People are asking for it more than ever.”

F1’s proposal to build a go-kart track and clubhouse on 12 acres just south of FedEx on the west side of Edwards Avenue was rejected by the town Planning Board in 2009 on the grounds that the environmental impact study F1 submitted for the project didn’t contain enough information on the facility’s potential noise and traffic impacts.

Mr. Leibowitz filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, citing, among other things, that the town had allowed a Hampton Jitney bus terminal just to the south of F1′s property without requiring the same conditions it was requiring of F1.

tgannon@timesreview.com

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