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Planning Board considers proposing moratorium on large industrial projects in Calverton

The Riverhead Planning Board is planning to ask the Town Board to declare a six-month moratorium on large industrial projects in Calverton, a position many residents in the area have urged the Town Board to take in recent months.

Planning Board member Ed Densieski proposed the moratorium toward the end of Thursday’s Planning Board meeting.

He said he doesn’t like moratoriums but added, “I wonder if the Planning Board shouldn’t recommend to the Town Board a short time-out to really find out what’s going on and what’s going to really happen at Calverton, before its too late.”

He added: “There’s some heavy duty projects coming and a lot of traffic and a lot of other things coming with it.”

Large projects currently before the Planning Board include: 

• H.K. Ventures, a proposal to subdivide 412,629 square feet of vacant land into an unspecified number of building lots on Main Road in Calverton.

• Ostad, a proposal to subdivide 130 acres on Main Road in Calverton into an unspecified number of lots. 

• Riverhead Logistics Center, which seeks to build a 641,000-square-foot “Class A” warehouse facility on 40 acres located on 1743 Middle Road.

Recently, Calverton Aviation & Technology, which is seeking to buy 1,644 acres of Town land at Enterprise Park at Calverton, entered the fray. They recently proposed building more than 10 million square feet of logistics and flex buildings, according to the application at EPCAL. 

Many of the uses being proposed were not considered in 2003 when the town did its last master plan update. 

Jefferson Murphree, the town’s building and planning administrator, said this will be a focus point in the upcoming comprehensive plan update.

The other Planning Board members agreed with Mr. Densieski and directed Mr. Murphree to write a resolution at the Nov. 3 Planning Board stating the board’s position on the moratorium and urging the Town Board to do likewise.

Keith Brown, the attorney for H.K. Ventures, said the Planning Board was unfairly delaying his project by requiring them to do a supplement environmental impact statement at Thursday’s meeting. Mr. Densieski had not yet made his moratorium proposal when Mr. Brown spoke. He argued that several other similar projects that were proposed afterward after gotten approvals before H.K. Ventures.