Gershow Recycling’s Hubbard Avenue recycling facility, which has drawn complaints from neighbors about noise and ground shaking, will be the subject of a public hearing at the Riverhead Planning Board this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
Gershow bought the former Fred J. Gallo Used Auto Parts property in 2012, which town planners felt at the time was a similar use to what Gershow would be doing.
As such, the company’s use of the property was originally approved by the planning department without being required to hold a public hearing or to file a site plan application because the planning department ruled the change from the previous use of the property was minor — or “de minimis,” to use the official term.
But once Gershow took over the property, neighbors — particularly those in the adjacent Riverhaven mobile park — began complaining about noise from car crushing and scrap metal recycling at the property.
Gershow later took some efforts to block the noise, including the stacking of large, green shipping containers at the property border, according to its attorney, Peter Danowski. But the Planning Board in January said those and other changes made at the site were no longer “de minimis,” and would require a site plan application, which is the subject of Thursday’s public hearing.
“Stacking containers could be considered aesthetically objectionable to the neighborhood,” Planning Board member Stan Carey said at the time. “I think that would require a public hearing.”
Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said in January that Gershow did make environmental improvements to the site to prevent stormwater and leaking fluids from going into the adjacent wetlands.
Watch a video of the facility below: