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Rehab facility given thumbs up from County Planning Commission

A proposal to build a 133,000-square-foot drug and alcohol research and rehabilitation facility at the Enterprise Park at Calverton received a unanimous recommendation of approval from the Suffolk County Planning Commission last Wednesday in Huntington. 

Peconic Care, the name of the project, would treat patients with drug and alcohol addiction problems and also use those patients in addiction research at the facility, according to Andrew Drazen, the chief executive officer of applicant EBDK at Calverton LLC, which includes of a group of scientists, medical professionals and developers.

Patients, who would be there voluntarily, would be allowed maximum stays of 90 days.

“It’ll be a ground-breaking program, with a complete continuum of care. No one has done that to any great extent,” Mr. Drazen said in an interview earlier this year.

The Suffolk County Planning Commission staff report stated the facility would have 160 beds, although Mr. Drazen said there will only be 80.

“In general, we were all pretty supportive of the project,” said Dave Calone, the chair of the Suffolk County Planning Commission in an interview.

“We thought it met an important regional need regarding treatment. Everyone felt like it was a good project, a needed project from a regional perspective, and a good location for it,” he said.

The project needed the commission’s approval because it’s on a state road and adjacent to an airport, Mr. Calone said, referring to the runway at EPCAL.

The entire EPCAL property is subject to Planning Commission review. If the commission opposes a project, it then needs four votes, instead of three, from the Town Board in order to gain approval.

The proposed facility would be built on 37 acres of land owned by Engel Burman Group, who are partners in the project, just south of the eastern, active, runway at EPCAL. Only 21 of those 37 acres will be physically disturbed, the planning report says.

The application was sent to the town Zoning Board of Appeals in 2013 for a determination as to whether the proposed use was permitted in the Planning Industrial Park zone, where it’s located.

The ZBA determined in March of 2014 that it was permitted in that zone.

The site plan for the proposal was submitted to the town in September and will need approval from the Town Board, which has site plan authority at EPCAL and downtown Riverhead but not the rest of the town.

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