Riverhead Town can either seek a $6 million “bridge loan” or seek a waiver from the state’s two-percent tax cap law — two options the town is considering in light of a potential 12.5 percent tax hike for 2015, Supervisor Sean Walter said at Thursday’s Town Board work session. (more…)
The Riverhead Town Board discussed banning solar energy farms from agriculturally zoned land in town and limiting them to industrial land at its work session on Thursday. Officials say they fear allowing solar panels on farms would transform them into industrial sites. (more…)
The Riverhead Town Board voted to authorize legal action against the owners of the Glass Greenhouse Farm Market at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, after holding off on such action at its prior meeting.
The town claims the new building, approximately 5,000-square feet large, is being operated in violation of the town code definition of a farm market, in that more than 40 percent of the items sold there are not grown locally.
Owner Walter Gabrielsen, reached afterward, declined to comment on the Town Board action.
The board vote was 3-1 with Councilman George Gabrielsen, Walter’s brother, absent. George Gabrielsen had previously said he planned to abstain on all votes involving his brother’s business anyway.
Councilman Jim Wooten cast the lone vote against authorizing state supreme court action. He has said he thinks the town can settle the matter out of court.
Supervisor Sean Walter and board members John Dunleavy and Jodi Giglio supported the action.
The supervisor has said the town took another business, A Taste of Country, to court on the same issue and prevailed, adding that it would be hypocritical for the town to enforce its code against one business and not another.
“If Mr. Gabrielsen wants to have 60 percent locally grown produce, I would support it 100 percent, but clearly when you walk into that building, that’s not what’s there,” Mr. Walter said two weeks ago.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Town Board voted 4-0 in favor of awarding a contract to Borrego Solar to lease space on the town landfill for a solar project, and 4-0 in favor of a resolution requesting proposals to build solar energy projects on other town parking lots.
Click below to read a recap from the board meeting.
Four of five members of the Riverhead Town Board gathered Thursday morning to discuss several topics, most notably the community benefit zone, a discussion which has been ongoing at a high speed over the past several months in town hall.
But it appeared at the end of the discussion that the pace of talks over the proposed zone will likely slow down noticeably; Supervisor Sean Walter told the Rev. Charles Coverdale — head pastor at First Baptist Church, which is leading the way to pass the zoning change to make way for a multi-use Family Community Life Center — “there’s no benefit in continuing this.”
Walter, however, appears to be one of two town board members in favor of at least going to a public hearing on the zone change — along with Councilman Jim Wooten.
Also at the work session, the board discussed the possibility of installing solar panels in various parking lots throughout town, including some parking lots downtown, as a means of generating revenue. The board also discussing installing solar panels on its Youngs Avenue landfill.
To find out what else was discussed at Thursday’s work session, click below to read News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the meeting.