03/26/15 10:00am
03/26/2015 10:00 AM
Solar panels being constructed on the east side of Edwards Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Solar panels being constructed on the east side of Edwards Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

With Edwards Avenue in Calverton soon to be blanketed by solar panels, the Riverhead Town Board, at its work session Thursday, discussed plans to require solar energy farms to pay full taxes, and plans to eliminate solar energy farms as a permitted use in the Industrial C zone, which covers everything east of the Stony Brook Incubator to Edwards Avenue, and everything on the west side of Edwards Avenue, south of Route 25.

“I’m not comfortable with Edwards Avenue being wall-to-wall solar,” Supervisor Sean Walter told the board.

Industrial C zoning would include at least one proposed solar panel farm, on the former Calverton Links golf course site., and possibly two others others, including one on or near the Calverton Industries sand mine on Route 25, and one further north on Edwards Avenue on the west side of the road, both of which were selected by LIPA, but not specifically identified publicly, as LIPA only gave a range of street numbers for the sites.

A 30,000-panel solar farm is under construction on 45 acres on the east side of Edwards Avenue, which is zoned Industrial A, where solar farms would continued to be permitted.

•The board also discussed a proposal to create a blighted property code in which properties would be assessed points for various violations – 30 points for rodent infestation, for instance – and any property with 100 points or more would be deemed blighted and face fines or up to $5,000.

The proposal did not appear to have support from a majority of board members in its current form.

• Board members also discussed proposal putting restrictions on how long and how dogs can be kept tethered outdoors, and a proposal to require dogs picked up by the town to be spayed before they can be returned to their owners.

•Also, the board discussed putting weight restrictions on Twomey Avenue in Calverton to keep large trucks from using the road.

To read what else was discussed at the work session, click below to read a recap of News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s life blog of the meeting and scroll down for the meeting agenda.

Live Blog Riverhead Town Board work session 03-26-2015

 

March_26,_2015_-_Agenda by Timesreview

03/18/15 7:00pm
03/18/2015 7:00 PM
The Riverhead Town Board held a hearing Wednesday to discuss a Northville gas terminal proposal. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The crowd at Wednesday’s hearing for the proposed gas terminal in Northville. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The Riverhead Town Board appears poised to reject United Riverhead Terminals’ proposed expansion at its Sound Shore Road fuel tank farm following a nearly four-hour public hearing in which every speaker other than the applicant was opposed to the plan.

“You guys and girls changed my vote and I’m going to vote to deny this permit,” Councilman John Dunleavy told the standing-room only audience following the hearing, a move that got him around of applause.

“Three cheers for John. Hip hip hooray!” someone yelled from the audience.

“I think there is a consensus building on this board that is aligned with Councilman Dunleavy,” Supervisor Sean Walter told URT spokesman Vic Prusinowski. “You guys have a pretty uphill battle.”

“It comes down to who I represent,” Councilman Jim Wooten said after the meeting. “I think the public has been pretty clear. They made a very good argument.”

“After a presentation like that, I don’t know how anyone can support it,” Councilman George Gabrielsen said.

“I want to get all the answers first before I make a decision,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said, although she appeared to agree with Mr. Gabrielsen’s comments.

The Town Board is holding the hearing open for written comments until April 30 to allow URT to answer questions and comments made at the hearing.

URT is proposing to change two of the 20 oil storage tanks on the 286-acre Sound Shore Road property from fuel oil storage to gasoline storage, and to build two new 19,000 gallon tanks to store ethanol, which is blended with the gasoline. The two tanks proposed for gasoline storage are 2.8 million and 3.6 million gallons.

Mr. Walter said URT already has state approval to store gasoline and ethanol, but requires the special permit from the town to build the two new tanks.

Asked after the meeting what URT would do if the application is rejected, Mr. Prusinowski said that hasn’t really been discussed. He said they may be able to use an existing tank to store ethanol, or they may have the ethanol blended with the gasoline at another site.

Neighbors who spoke against the plan said the gasoline storage use constitutes a new use and since the property is zoned for residential uses, and the tank farm is allowed to stay because it pre-dates town zoning, the new use should not be allowed.

Chris Kent, an attorney representing the Northville Beach Civic Association, said the application should not be before the Town Board, but rather, should be before the zoning board of appeals since it seeks to allow a use not permitted by zoning.

Other speakers said the change to gasoline storage would result in an increase in large oil tanker trucks coming to and from the faciilty, and that the gasoline is far more flammable than fuel oil.

Scott Kamm, URT’s general manager, said the proposal would only result in an increase of 12 trucks per day. He said the number of trucks coming from the facility has dropped nearly 50 percent since 2009, although it increased from 2013 to 2014. He said the demand for fuel oil has been declining in recent years.

Angela DeVito, the president of the Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association, said that the decrease in demand for fuel oil will likely lead URT to convert other tanks to gasoline storage in the future.

Other speakers said the applicants should be required to do an environmental impact study on the proposal.

Mr. Walter said the town may require a limited environment study, and it may also seek to put weight limits on town roads like Twomey Avenue in Calverton, where large oil tankers have been using to get to and from URT.

(more…)

03/18/15 2:00pm
After several attacks in the downtown Riverhead area this year — most of which have targeted Hispanic males — the town will revive its dormant Anti-Bias Task Force, a group 'meant to be a proactive agency in promoting tolerance and understanding.' (Credit: Carrie Miller)

After several attacks in the downtown Riverhead area last year — most of which have targeted Hispanic males — the town will revive its dormant Anti-Bias Task Force. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

The Riverhead Town Board is expected to officially restore Riverhead’s anti-bias task force at tonight’s meeting.

The task force was created in 1998, but had become dormant in recent years. Officials sought to re-establish it last year in the wake of a series of violent attacks on Hispanics in Riverhead.  (more…)

03/15/15 10:00am
03/15/2015 10:00 AM
The East Lawn building on  East Main Street. (file photo)

The East Lawn building on East Main Street pictured in 2013. (file photo)

Although he wasn’t the highest bidder, Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi appears to be the Riverhead Town Board’s choice to purchase and restore the dilapidated East Lawn building on East Main Street.

The Town Board is planning to authorize a contract with Mr. Castaldi at its 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday.

(more…)

03/12/15 10:00am
03/12/2015 10:00 AM

The Riverhead Town Board was expected to talk about the recently reformed Anti-Bias Task Force at Thursday’s work session.

The Anti-Bias Task Force had become dormant in recent years, but officials have sought to revive it after a string of violent attacks against Hispanic men in town.

(more…)

02/26/15 9:30am
02/26/2015 9:30 AM
Councilman George Gabrielsen inspecting the material at EPCAL. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Councilman George Gabrielsen inspecting the material at EPCAL. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

An attempt to get free material to help complete a recreation path at the Enterprise Park at Calverton might have turned out to be a toxic decision.

Town Highway Superintendent George Woodson said at Thursday’s work session that the call to use free crushed concrete from a site on Nugent Drive in Riverside was his to make in an effort to save on costs for the project. However, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has not approved its use, since the agency doesn’t know where the material came from.

(more…)