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03/26/15 10:00am
03/26/2015 10:00 AM
Solar panels being constructed on the east side of Edwards Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Solar panels being constructed on the east side of Edwards Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

With Edwards Avenue in Calverton soon to be blanketed by solar panels, the Riverhead Town Board, at its work session Thursday, discussed plans to require solar energy farms to pay full taxes, and plans to eliminate solar energy farms as a permitted use in the Industrial C zone, which covers everything east of the Stony Brook Incubator to Edwards Avenue, and everything on the west side of Edwards Avenue, south of Route 25.

“I’m not comfortable with Edwards Avenue being wall-to-wall solar,” Supervisor Sean Walter told the board.

Industrial C zoning would include at least one proposed solar panel farm, on the former Calverton Links golf course site., and possibly two others others, including one on or near the Calverton Industries sand mine on Route 25, and one further north on Edwards Avenue on the west side of the road, both of which were selected by LIPA, but not specifically identified publicly, as LIPA only gave a range of street numbers for the sites.

A 30,000-panel solar farm is under construction on 45 acres on the east side of Edwards Avenue, which is zoned Industrial A, where solar farms would continued to be permitted.

•The board also discussed a proposal to create a blighted property code in which properties would be assessed points for various violations – 30 points for rodent infestation, for instance – and any property with 100 points or more would be deemed blighted and face fines or up to $5,000.

The proposal did not appear to have support from a majority of board members in its current form.

• Board members also discussed proposal putting restrictions on how long and how dogs can be kept tethered outdoors, and a proposal to require dogs picked up by the town to be spayed before they can be returned to their owners.

•Also, the board discussed putting weight restrictions on Twomey Avenue in Calverton to keep large trucks from using the road.

To read what else was discussed at the work session, click below to read a recap of News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s life blog of the meeting and scroll down for the meeting agenda.

Live Blog Riverhead Town Board work session 03-26-2015

March_26,_2015_-_Agenda by Timesreview

08/19/14 9:06pm
08/19/2014 9:06 PM
Former Lakewood resident Douglas Rosenbrock speaks before the Town Board Tuesday evening. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Former Lakewood resident Douglas Rosenbrock speaks before the Town Board Tuesday evening. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Nearly 20 members of the Lakewood mobile home community in Calverton demanded accountability from the Riverhead Town Board during a contentious public meeting Tuesday evening, with residents claiming that illegal rentals and an abandoned mobile home were ruining their neighborhood.

The complaints led to a brief argument between Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who said she wasn’t aware complaints had been filed. (more…)

03/18/14 8:00am
03/18/2014 8:00 AM
North Fork Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo at Saturday's meeting in town hall. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

North Fork Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo at Saturday’s meeting in town hall. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Owners of mobile homes are hoping the state will approve a bill described as preventing “unjustifiable rent increases” at mobile home parks this year.

The legislation has been proposed each year since 2007. In six of those seven years, it was approved in the Democratically-controlled state Assembly, but not in the Republican-controlled state Senate. (more…)

10/31/10 7:48pm
10/31/2010 7:48 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTOJoe Kummer, a resident of Thurm's Estate's and president of the Mobile Manufactured Homeowners Association of Suffolk at his home in Calverton.

Mobile homeowner Joe Kummer, who lives in Thurms Estate in Calverton, has seen his rent increase $225 since an upstate company bought the park in 2006. Mr. Kummer told about 50 members of the Mobile/Manufactured Homeowner’s Association of Suffolk Inc. at their meeting at Riverhead Town Hall Saturday the sting of the rent increase would not hurt so bad if the company reinvested it into the park, perhaps by painting the community center or repaving its roads.

“The rent is going up… yet [the owner] is refusing to do anything for us in the park,” said Mr. Kummer, who is the president of that organization.

An extra $225 a month could force some mobile homeowners, many who are seniors living on fixed incomes, out of their homes, Mr. Kummer said, which is a threat to what many consider to be the last form of truly affordable housing on Long Island.

That’s why Assemblymen Marc Alessi (D-Shoreham) and Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor), who represent the North and South fork respectively, are co-sponsoring legislation in the State Assembly that will give mobile homeowners the right to collectively take their landlords to court over unjustifiable rent increases. State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) will sponsor the bill in the senate.

The assemblymen announced the legislation at Saturday’s meeting.

“You are defenseless to unscrupulous park owners,” Mr. Thiele told the crowd.

“Tenants shouldn’t have to worry about affording their monthly lot rent,” Mr. Alessi said. “They don’t really have any other options if their landlord decides to increase rates unjustifiably. It is very expensive to relocate and there is often no place to move even if someone wants to.”

Mr. Alessi said similar legislation passed in the assembly in 2009, though it was not approved in the State Senate. He and Mr. Thiele are hoping the bill will be adopted this time around. Mr. Alessi noted that the problem of rent increase for mobile homeowners is unique to eastern Long Island where real estate is very expensive.

The assemblymen are also seeking legislation to require manufactured homeowners to pay real property taxes on the land their home sits on. Currently the land owner pays the property taxes. Mr. Alessi said doing so would allow mobile homeowners to directly apply for tax rebates instead of the rebates being credited to the owner of the mobile home park. The park owner is then responsible to distribute the tax rebates to tenants, though there is no oversight of the process.

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This post was originally published Oct. 16, 2010