The Riverhead Town Board discussed a plan to restrict alcohol at special events during Thursday’s work session. The board recently rejected an idea of limiting alcohol consumption to beer gardens at public fairs.
The days of walking around festivals like the Country Fair or the Polish Town Festival with an open beer in your hand appear to be on the way out. (more…)
The Town Board discussed a proposal that would allow applicants to pay an additional fee to have their application “expedited” at Thursday’s work session. The proposal would allow the town to hire an outside consultant to do the bulk of the review, and then that consultants consultants’ work would be reviewed by the town planning staff to ensure that it complies with regulations.
The proposal comes in the wake of concerns that applications will be backed up in the planning process due to staffing cuts in that department this year. The town did not fill the planning director and environmental planner positions following retirements in both of that slots, and the planning department is left with one planner, a part-time environmental planner and planning and building administrator Jeff Murphree, who oversees two departments.
The expedited review proposal would need a public hearing first, and the town must issue a request for proposals for consulting firms interested in doing the work. It’s not certain if this would need approval from the Civil Service Employees Association, the union that represents town workers.
To read a recap of News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the work session, click below, and scroll down for the full meeting agenda.
After town board members appeared to oppose completing a bike and recreational path at the Enterprise Park at Calverton over the summer, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved allocating $200,000 to complete the path on Monday.
Riverhead Town and New York State have already contributed $100,000 each toward the path, though three miles of the 8.9-mile path remain unpaved.
The bike path will get walkers and bikers off the dangerous public road, as it is located inside the fence around EPCAL, officials say.
Initially, it appeared part of the southern portion of the trail would be on the public street on River Road, but that will now be inside the fence as well, according to North Fork county legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue), who sponsored the funding bill.
“It will be an off-road, non-motorized trail of over eight miles long for use by all county residents,” Mr. Krupski told legislators Tuesday, adding that the county won’t have to pay anything else, since the maintenance will be handled by Riverhead Town.
Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who spoke before the legislature Monday, said the town is planning on holding events on the trail, such as fundraisers for the Wounded Warriors, and a Halloween Walk.
“We just think it’s a great project,” she told legislators.
Ms. Giglio was peppered with a slew of questions from western Suffolk legislators, who asked about things like whether the trail would impede economic development at EPCAL or use of the runway there.
She said the trail is not on part of the property where the town plans to see land for economic development.
“I’m comfortable with it,” said Legislator Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue). “I think bike paths are important.”
“I think it’s a reasonable investment,” said Legislator Tom Barraga (R-West Islip), who said it cost $1.7 million for a pedestrian-friendly trail in his district that only covered 8/10ths of a mile.
Riverhead Town’s alternative transportation advisory committee, to which Ms. Giglio is the liaison, has been championing the bike for the several years.
Supervisor Sean Walter said work on the extension of the bike path can’t commence until the environmental studies of the EPCAL site are completed and the town Planning Board approves the EPCAL subdivision which will show exactly where the bike path will go.
“We’re in the end stages of the study at this point,” Mr. Walter said. He thinks the subdivision could be approved some time in early 2015.
He added that he’s not sure if the $200,000 will be enough to complete the bike path.
Expect the Edgar Allan Poe Festival to return to downtown Riverhead next Halloween. Town Board members welcomed the idea of bringing it back during a discussion with festival creator Sal St. George and BID president Ray Pickersgill at Thursday’s work session. Mr. St. George said he’d like to do a “War of the Worlds” broadcast next year. (more…)
The pros and cons of flyboarding were debated at Tuesday’s Riverhead Town Board during a public hearing on a plan to regulate the up and coming sport, which is being done at Treasure Cove marina.
Jim Bissett IV, who operates Flyboard Long Island at the marina, said the town’s proposal to push them 500 feet off shore was excessive, while some neighbors said the Flyboarding was noisy.
The board also voted to rezone the Second Street firehouse to DC-1, a mostly commercial zone that’s in place on most of downtown Main Street. The town agreed to change the zone as a condition of a $500,000 sale of the property to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi, but some residents, as well as Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, argued that the town should seek new bids for the property now that it is rezoned to a more business-friendly zone.
The board also agreed, in a 3-2 vote, to authorize the conversion of the Henry Pfeifer Community Center in Calverton into a new town animal shelter.