A longtime vacant commercial building on Elton Street could be transformed into a new firearms training facility for a company currently based in Westhampton, according to a site plan application under review by the Riverhead Town Planning Board.
The building would also feature a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning supply warehousing and distribution operation as well as an office use. The tenant for the office has not yet been identified.
The vacant building at 680 Elton St. is 73,100 square feet and the proposed firearms training facility and HVAC supply warehouse would be nearly equal in size at about 21,000 square feet each. The building was once home to Truetech, with made ready-to-eat meals for the military. Truetech was later sold to Luxfer Magtech Inc.
Anthony Niosi and Mark Berlin are the owners of Niosi Firearms Development in Westhampton. Mr. Niosi said they do both firearms sales and rentals. They sell to the public as well as to police and military.
All of the shooting at the facility takes place indoors, according to the applicant.
Planning Board member George Nunnaro said a similar indoor shooting range on West Main Street was approved about two years ago and there have been no noise complaints.
Mr. Berlin said bullets are captured after they’ve been fired and sealed in buckets and taken away to prevent lead contamination.
“Everything in this facility is green,” he said.
The company’s website says: “Niosi Firearms development is a federally licensed weapons sales and manufacturing business located at the Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach. Our principal business is sales to law enforcement and governmental agencies, however, in these uncertain times we are stocking civilian appropriate weapons and ammunition.”
Town planner Greg Bergman said the proposal is an “unlisted action” under state environmental quality review act and a coordinated review with other agency’s in not recommended. The planning staff is recommending that the Planning Board be the lead agency in the review and that no further environmental review is needed.
The proposed use of the building as a firearm shooting range and training facility are permitted under the property’s Commercial Residential Campus zoning, which permits indoor sports and recreation facilities.
The western part of the property contains a freshwater wetlands system, according to Mr. Bergman.
The applicant has hired a consulting firm, Geiler & Associates, to prepare recommendations to contain the range line noise and meet town noise limits.
The site is just south of a residential neighborhood, planners said.
As for parking, the applicant will require 184 parking stalls, officials said. There would be five handicap accessible stalls.