Calverton go-kart application inches one step closer toward approval

04/17/2014 9:07 PM |
(Credit: F1 Long Island)

F1 Long Island is proposing to build a go-cart track in Calverton. (Credit: F1 Long Island)

The Riverhead Town Planning Board has signed off on the next step in the building-approval process for a proposed go-kart track slated for Edwards Avenue in Calverton.

The developers, F1 Long Island, has been mired in litigation with the town since 2009 over a final environmental impact study, or FEIS, for the project. Both sides are in the process of settling outside of court.

The Planning Board approved the company’s FEIS during Thursday’s meeting, an action that now allows F1 Long Island to submit its site plan for review.

F1 Long Island CEO Marc Leibowitz said the consultants that worked on the FEIS described it as the most comprehensive study they’ve ever done.

“I feel like I’m in a dream,” he said after the vote.  “It’s been ten years since we first filed this application. I’m actually shocked.”

The Planning Board will now have a 10-day written comment period on the FEIS before it adopts what’s known as a findings statement. After that, the Planning Board is expected to review the site plan, town planning director Rick Hanley said.

The go-kart application came to a grinding halt in 2009 after the Planning Board rejected the FEIS on the grounds that the study didn’t include enough information about potential noise and traffic.

F1 Long Island then filed both a federal civil rights lawsuit and a lawsuit in state Supreme court to challenge the Planning Board’s decision.

The federal lawsuit claimed, among other things, that the town had approved an application for a Hampton Jitney bus terminal just south of F1 Long Island’s property.

In December, the Planning Board rescinded the 2009 resolution that rejected F1 Long Island’s FEIS.

Bill Duffy, the Planning Board’s attorney, said he’s working on a final stipulation of settlement for the case.

“There is an agreement in principal,” he said.

tgannon@timesreview.com