Hearings to be held tonight, tomorrow on EPCAL plan

09/03/2014 3:17 PM |
A plan for about 2,300 town-owned acres at Enterprise Park at Calverton was recently submitted to Town Board members. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

A plan for about 2,300 town-owned acres at Enterprise Park at Calverton was recently submitted to Town Board members. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

Public hearings on Riverhead Town’s new “reuse and revitalization” plan for the Enterprise Park at Calverton will be held tonight at the Town Board’s meeting and tomorrow at the Planning Board meeting, both of which start at 7 p.m.

The Town Board tonight will hold one hearing on the proposed reuse plan for EPCAL and another hearing on a draft environmental impact study, which studies subdividing 2,300 acres at EPCAL into 50 lots. To implement the reuse plan, the town would have to revise its master plan, which was adopted in 2004.

The Planning Board hearing will be on the subject of updating the EPCAL reuse plan, which was created when the town took ownership of the property in 1998. The Planning Board also will have jurisdiction over the subdivision at some point in the future.

Click here to read the town’s EPCAL planning documents.

The plan, which has been in the works since 2011 and has cost more than $600,000, calls for a 50-lot subdivision with “mixed use” development comprised of light industrial, business, residential and retail uses on about 600 acres of the property.

The subdivision is needed in order for the town to sell off individual lots on the property, something officials say is needed in order to close a $4 million budget deficit.

The new reuse plan has generated some controversy over its inclusion of residential apartments within industrial properties.

Planning Board member Ed Densieski recently criticized that portion of the plan, saying housing and industrial uses don’t mix.

“The reason [EPCAL] is unique is because there’s no residential housing near the industrial core,” Mr. Densieski said at the Aug. 21 Planning Board meeting. “As soon as you put residential housing in there, it’s going to be the same as every other spot.”

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio has also been critical of allowing residential and retail uses at EPCAL, and this week took out radio ads urging people to come to the public hearings.

The residential units called for in the study are meant to be in support of the industrial units, so that the employees would live there, thus reducing  the burden on local streets, officials say.

The study says the local roads will not be able to handle the amount of traffic EPCAL will generate in the future.

Looking long-range, the study envisions the new zoning, by 2025, would result in 289,606 square feet of industrial and research development, 1.3 million square feet of office space, 385,785 square feet of commercial and retail space and 150 units of residential development.

By 2035, the study anticipates those numbers at 538,667 square feet of industrial and research development; 2.47 million square feet of office and industrial space; 667,340 square feet of commercial and retail space and 300 residential units.

The study envisions the development of the site to be spread over many years.

Both meetings — tonight’s, and tomorrow night’s — start at 7 p.m.

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