Featured Letter: We’re not wary, we’re angry!

To the editor: 

Last week’s page 3 article “Neighbors wary a car lot could replace retail shop,” I am one of those neighbors. We are not wary, we are angry! It started over four years ago, when a “stop work order” was issued to Garsten Realty LLC for no permit to bring truckload after truckload of grading material that was started on a Sunday at the Apple Automotive Discount Center at 785 Raynor Ave. Finally, when it went to the first Zoning Board of Appeals meeting it was made clear by Mr. Garsten, owner of the property, that his intention was to store cars from his dealership there. Which we strongly disapproved.

During the subsequent years of zoning meetings, the same issues were brought up — the storage of cars, illegal late-night deliveries, property maintenance, landscaping and traffic. We were shown site plans that the ZBA had reviewed repeatedly. Days before the last board meeting, Mr. Garsten had the late-night deliveries stopped, cleaned up the property, and landscaped. That took four years!

Then came the Planning Board meeting. We believed that all parties concerned reached a compromise. We were so wrong. We were completely misled by the Zoning Board’s decision and Mr. Garsten got exactly what he wanted, to use that property to store his many vehicles there.

“It’s just business,” he tells my neighbors and me after the Planning Board meeting. Well, we live here, just like the people who have to live near Stop & Shop, Gershow Recycling, Costco, and I’m sure others. However this turns out, we can at least know we got involved and didn’t sit back and do nothing.

Larisa Turchick, Riverhead