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Long Island Sports Park, in operation since 2016, receives preliminary approval

Long Island Sports Park received preliminary site plan approval from the Riverhead Town Planning Board last Thursday, and now needs only final site plan approval before its activities are officially legal. 

The facility occupies 82 acres that were part of the former Calverton Links golf course on Edwards Avenue in Calverton. It had been holding various athletic events there, including soap runs, a bubble race and mud races, as well as other events such as cider festivals and potato festivals until former town supervisor Sean Walter said that the company needed site plan approval — instead of individual approvals for each event — to continue.

In 2017, the town issued violations to LISP principal Dean Del Prete for not having an approved site plan, a use permit, an assembly permit or a certificate of occupancy for the events. It opened the previous spring.

The board reached agreement with Mr. Del Prete in 2017, on the condition that he obtain site plan approval for the entire site.

There was no opposition to the site plan proposal at a public hearing in January, and it received preliminary approval with no comments last Thursday night.

The company’s site plan lists golf, Frisbee golf, soccer golf, paintball, marathon-type runs and festivals among permitted uses for the property.

The property’s Industrial C zoning allows both recreational uses and golf courses, according to Charles Cuddy, the attorney for LISP.

He said the sports park now occupies 12 of the 18 holes that existed at the Calverton Links course, and that there has been no change to the property since it was an active golf course.

The Planning Board resolution passed last week states that it “finds the proposed action with no adverse environmental or social impacts.”

LISP cannot do any site work at the property until final site plan approval is received, and that approval will carry a number of conditions that must also be met.

Caption: A boy races through bubbles at a 2016 event at Long Island Sports Park. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

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