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EPCAL redevelopment plan up for vote Tuesday

03/10/2016 4:44 PM |

EPCAL

Riverhead Town’s proposed redevelopment plan for Enterprise Park at Calverton should be ready for prime time Tuesday.

The Town Board is scheduled to vote to adopt an environmental impact statement for the voluminous EPCAL redevelopment plans, which includes a 50-lot subdivision map, proposed new zoning for the property, a reuse plan, and an updated Urban Renewal plan, according to Frank Isler, an outside legal counsel hired by the town to oversee the studies.

The subdivision must be adopted before the town can legally divide and sell smaller lots at EPCAL.

By adopting the plan, that means the study period is over, Mr. Isler said. The plan would then be made public at the Town Clerk’s office, the library, and the town website, and there would be an additional “period of consideration” of at least 10 days, where the public can comment and the town can incorporate those comments into the plan if it likes, Mr. Isler said.

The major steps in the plan would come after that, he said.

That’s when the Town Board and Planning Board would consider actually adopting the recommended changes suggested in the plan, Mr. Isler said.

But just because the plan is adopted doesn’t mean additional changes can’t be made at EPCAL in the future.

In fact, some might already be under consideration.

“We all knew when we originally did this plan that we couldn’t find a user for the 7,000-foot runway,” Supervisor Sean Walter said, referring to the western runway at EPCAL, which is no longer active.

Since then, however, Luminati Aerospace moved into the former SkyDive Long Island building and that company has publicity stated that it might be interested is buying the runway at some point.

Luminati plans to make solar-powered, unmanned aerial vehicles for a Fortune 500 client it will not publicly disclose, although speculation is that it’s either Facebook or Google.

Mr. Walter also said that in the future, the board may want to consider moving about 10 lots at the apex of the western runway, along Route 25, to an area north of the 10,000-foot eastern runway, which still is active. This would allow the commercial and industrial lots to be located near the active runway, and would allow the same amount of acreage to be moved west as preserved grassland, which the state Department of Environmental Conservation has called for.

The land near the eastern runway was at a time poised to be sold to Rechler Equity Partners, which planned to build an industrial park there, before the deal fell apart. The later revisions of the EPCAL map showed that land as preserved grassland for birds.

But Mr. Walter said much of this will depend on the wishes of whomever eventually seeks to buy that land, and that for now, the town will adopt the plan as is.

The town hired the land planning firm Vanasse, Hangen Brustlin Inc. (VHB) of Hauppauge to do the studies in early 2011. The initial price tag for the company was $462,000, but the Town Board added $162,390 more to the cost in 2013.

The town in 2011 also signed separate contracts with RKG Associates for $47,500, for an EPCAL marketing study, and with LK McLean Associates for $74,900, for a boundary and topographic study of EPCAL.

Tuesday’s Town Board will start at 6:30 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m. because the board expects a lot of speakers at some of the public hearings.

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