Featured Story

Lawsuit filed over Kroemer Avenue propane plan

The owner of a proposed propane facility on Kroemer Avenue in Riverhead have filed a lawsuit challenging the Riverhead Planning Board’s June 3 resolution, in which three of the five board members voted against the proposal. 

The application, known as 48 Kroemer LLC, calls for demolition of an existing building and construction of a 240,000-gallon liquid propane facility comprising eight 30,000-gallon tanks and a 38,472-square-foot industrial building with accessory office space.

48 Kroemer LLC is headed by Frank Fisher of Westhampton. 

The lawsuit was filed July 13 in state Supreme Court and lists Riverhead Town Planning Board and its Planning Board as defendants. 

The Town Board unanimously granted 48 Kroemer a special permit on Sept. 15, 2020, at which time the proposal still needed site plan approval from the Planning Board. On June 3, 2021, the Planning Board voted on the site plan application, with members Ed Densieski and Joe Baier voting yes and members Stan Carey, George Nunnaro and Richard O’Dea voting no. 

However, the lawsuit claims that an affirmative vote is needed, meaning there would have to be a resolution to deny and it would need three votes to deny the site plan application. 

It maintains that 48 Kroemer LLC has yet to be voted down. 

“The absence of an affirmative vote of the Planning Board to approve an application does not constitute the denial of the application,” the lawsuit states. 

The lawsuit maintains that the Planning Board was required to make a determination on 48 Kroemer’s application by July 7 and did not do so, meaning that the site plan application is neither approved or denied. 

The lawsuit asked that the June 3 vote be declared “null and void.” 

In addition, the lawsuit claims that “upon information and belief, one or more members of the Planning Board engaged in discussion of Kroemer’s application at times and places other than open public meetings of the Planning Board, in violation of the Open Meetings Law. 

The lawsuit does not identify a specific Planning Board member.