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Scoping meeting set for Nov. 5 on Calverton industrial project

A 425,464-square-foot industrial complex proposed for Calverton will be the topic of a public scoping meeting before the Riverhead Planning Board set for Nov. 5.

The session is being held to aid the planning board’s environmental review of the project, which is required due to the intensity of the proposal.

A preliminary site plan filed by HK Ventures calls for developing vacant farmland along Route 25 with eight buildings ranging in size from 49,000 square feet to 56,672 square feet with divided tenant spaces. A 3,000 square-foot cafeteria is also proposed for use only by tenants of the complex.

The 30.2-acre site, zoned Industrial C, is located on the south side of Route 25, near the intersection with Fresh Pond Avenue. The southern edge of the property abuts Riverhead Town’s Enterprise Park at Calverton as well as the town’s bike and recreation path at EPCAL.

The project would be developed in two phases, town planning aide Greg Bergman said. As submitted, it would require a variance for exceeding the allowed impervious surface. Part of the property is located within the town’s water district, but the applicant will need to purchase and redeem 26.3 Pine Barrens credits in order to develop both phases. The cost of extending the water district would be borne by the applicant, Mr. Bergman said.

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In May, the Planning Board voted to classify the project as a “Type I” action pursuant to the state’s Environmental Quality Review Act. The Planning Board, which has lead agency over the review, also issued what’s known as a “positive declaration” for the project, which means a full environmental impact statement is required.

“Far and away, this is one of the largest industrial developments that the town has seen in quite some time,” Mr. Bergman told members of the Town Board during a work session in June.

He said significant concerns about traffic, water availability and other issues will all be studied under the review.

During the Town Board discussion in June, several members said their top issues include traffic at the intersection of Route 25 and Fresh Pond Avenue, though most expressed interest in the economic boost the project could provide the town.

“There is a tremendous need for smaller warehouse space,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said.

Councilman Frank Beyrodt pointed out that many of the Industrial C-zoned properties in Riverhead have been used for solar arrays. “This is one of the few that is actually trying to use the industrial zoning, so that’s something to consider,” he said.

During the scoping session Nov. 5, members of the public will be able to raise issues they feel should be examined more closely in the environmental impact study.