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Planning Board approves subdivision for Calverton property

A proposed Tractor Supply Company store on a portion of the former Calverton Industries sand mine property on Route 25 in Calverton took several steps forward at Thursday’s Riverhead Town Planning Board meeting.

The board approved a minor subdivision for the 51-acre property that would create lots of 5.2 acres, 4.6 acres and 41 acres.

It also granted preliminary site plan approval for the 5.2 acres closest to Route 25. The board also determined that an environmental impact study is not needed.

Connecticut-based New England Retail Properties, or NERP, is seeking to build a retail development with four buildings totaling over 51,000 square feet. Tractor Supply Company, a national chain, would anchor the site. The company sells items like tractor parts, work clothing, hardware and hay — but not tractors — according to Mark D’Addabbo of NERP.

Two of the other proposed buildings are 4,500 square feet and the other building would be 9,450 square feet. No tenants have been secured for those yet, he said.

The property is located where a controversial sand mine operated for many years. The property is currently owned by Calverton Industries, which had been in a number of legal battles with Riverhead Town dating back to the 1990s, regarding the legality of the sand mine operation.

A 2006 court ruling in one lawsuit gave Calverton Industries the right to develop the property under its prior zoning, Business CR, which includes retail uses, even though the town had rezoned the property to Industrial B in 2004. Industrial B does not permit retail.

Calverton Industries, and Sky Materials, which ran the sand mine and recycling operation, completed all mining and reclamation actives at the site and the required reclamation work was completed as of Dec. 7, 2010, according to theNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation. It currently has DEC permission for construction and demolition processing.

The DEC in April ordered Sky Materials to pay $5,000 in fines and $15,000 in payments to a Long Island Groundwater Study, saying that the company over an 18-month period took in more material than its permit allowed and also exceeded the amount of vegetative waste it was permitted to bring to the site.

It also suspended an additional $30,000 fine to ensure compliance with a consent order they signed with the DEC this year that requires them to establish an “onsite waste reduction plan” that the DEC must approve and to “cease and desist” from future violations of its permit.

Calverton Industries also will be required to submit an engineering plan to reduce the amount of material in stock piles on the site over five years, and that plan must get DEC approval before the final site plan for NERP can be approved by the town, according to town planning aide Greg Bergman. He said that plan has been submitted and they are awaiting a response from DEC.

Photo caption: A view of the Calverton site on Route 25. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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