No. 3 Top News Story: EPCAL fast-track plan approved

Calverton EPCAL sign
MICHAEL WHITE FILE PHOTO | One of two signs marking the EPCAL entrance along Route 25 in Calverton.

Two years ago, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter proposed the establishment of an EPCAL “fast-track” process to ensure that projects can be built there without running into government red tape. But the proposal itself couldn’t secure approval in the state Legislature.

This year, he tried again. And it worked. The state bill creating the 2,124-acre EPCAL Reuse and Revitalization Area was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in October and will take effect once the town completes an environmental study and subdivision of its land at EPCAL.

The Grumman Corporation left the Calverton Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in 1995. Riverhead Town took title to the property, courtesy of the federal government, in 1998. In 2001, the town sold the approximately 500-acre industrial core of that property, which has since become home to a number of large companies.

But beyond that, the land now called Enterprise Park at Calverton has seen a series of big proposals over the years that come, draw a lot of attention, and then go away without anything being built.

“This is probably one of the most monumental pieces of legislation that will hit the East End,” Mr. Walter has said of the “fast-track” measure.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 news stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.