Town Board votes 3-2 against holding a hearing on a proposed Calverton moratorium

In a 3-2 vote, the Riverhead Town Board Wednesday voted against holding a public hearing on a proposed 6-month moratorium on development in Calverton. 

The decision came after months of complaints from Calverton residents who said their neighborhoods stand to be overwhelmed by proposed giant-sized warehouses and logistics centers. 

The vote to schedule the hearing saw Councilmen Tim Hubbard and Frank Beyrodt voting in favor, with Supervisor Yvette Aguiar and Councilmen Ken Rothwell and Bob Kern voting against it. 

The vote brought criticism from members of the audience who favor a moratorium.

“I really feel like we’re beating our heads against a concrete wall,” said  Kathy McGraw of Northville. She said it’s clear that the people who live in Riverhead want the moratorium. 

“I’m shocked,” said former town supervisor Laura Jens-Smith of Laurel. “I cannot believe that you guys did not vote to hold a public hearing for this moratorium. Week after week, month after month, the community, the tax payers of this town have been coming forward to ask for a moratorium. They’ve asked to be heard. This was your opportunity to hold a public hearing on record for them to comment on this moratorium and the comprehensive plan. And you voted no!” 

Toqui Terchun, the president of the Greater Calverton Civic Association, said more than 400 people have signed a petition in support of the moratorium.  Ms. Aguiar, who voted no, said the proposal has no exemptions or hardships during the moratorium period. She said the proposed changes “can be done by code.” 

“All we’re doing is stopping progress,” she said.  

The proposal, put forward by Mr. Hubbard, called for the scheduling of a public hearing on the proposed enactment of a six-month moratorium on development in the Industrial A, B, and C zones, within the Calverton 11933 zip code. 

Mr. Kern said his no-vote was due to his opposition to a “blanket” moratorium that doesn’t have any exemptions. For his part, Mr. Rothwell said voting on a six-month moratorium is just asking developers to put off any investments here. 

“Nothing is going to be completed in six months,” he said, adding that nothing will probably be completed in 18 months.