Calverton Civic requests more information on potential senior care facility

Members of the Greater Calverton Civic Association requested more time and information Wednesday prior to voting on whether to recommend a proposed 135-unit assisted living facility in Calverton move forward. 

The Calverton Manor property located on the northwest corner of Route 25 and Manor Road was pitched as an assisted living facility in 2016 by developer Vincent DiCanio, who owns DiCanio Organization in Smithtown.

Mr. DiCanio pitched an updated plan to members of the civic association at Wednesday’s civic meeting at Riley Avenue School. The property is about 42 acres, Mr. DiCanio said.

The 31 acres on the north side of the property, zoned as “agricultural protection,” is under contract with East Marion-based Lavender By The Bay, a statement from the DiCanio Organization said. Lavender By The Bay received planning board approval to grow on the property earlier this year.

The southern, 11-acre section of the parcel — which would house the roughly 22,000-square-foot facility for assisted living, memory care, independent living and low-price rental units — is zoned as “rural corridor,” which doesn’t permit an assisted living facility, Mr. DiCanio said.

The assisted living center would be restricted to people on Social Security with low incomes, the land owner said. Town Code defines affordable assisted-living to have a minimum of 74% of its residents to have income at or less than 110% of the county median household income, as determined by the Census.

In September 2018, Ronald DeVito of Concordia Senior Communities brought a three-story assisted care facility before the Town Board to request a change in zoning usage from “rural corridor” to “commercial” so it could be used for its intended purpose.

At that time, the board said they’d express support if civic groups such as Calverton gave the project a green light, Mr. DiCanio said Wednesday.

While Concordia is one business that has expressed interest in operating the facility, Mr. DiCanio said, an operator has not yet been found.

“Understand that we’re asking for your support conceptually,” he said. “This is just the first step.”

Civic president Toqui Terchun disagreed.

“This is a return to a different plan,” she said. “Your point is well taken that in order to present to us something that we can nod to, we would need to know numbers, which means you’d need to provide those details.”

Ms. Terchun said while the civic group has an impact, only the Town Board can change the zoning or grant a special permit. The civic group plans to submit questions to the project representatives and invite them back to provide further details.

Calverton Manor, headed by developer Charles Mancini, has been in litigation with Riverhead Town since it filed lawsuits in 2004 challenging the town’s 2003 master plan which placed restrictions on land use along the Route 25 corridor. A state appellate division ruled in favor of the town on three of those four lawsuits in April 2018, the Riverhead News Review previously reported.

Caption: Vincent DiCanio speaks with members of the Greater Calverton Civic Association. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)

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