Impact statement filed for massive industrial park in Calverton, public hearing set

Impact statement filed for massive industrial park in Calverton, public hearing set

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An Aug. 5 public hearing has been set on the environmental impact study for a proposed industrial park in Calverton that town planning officials say is one of the largest industrial development proposals the town has seen.

The “Calverton Industrial Park” proposed by Nassau County developer HK Ventures on 30 acres fronting Middle Country Road has been scaled back a bit from what was first proposed — 423,964 square feet — to 412,629 square feet.

The proposed industrial park would consist of eight buildings constructed in two phases, providing light industrial warehouse uses (75%) and indoor manufacturing uses (25%), with an on-site cafeteria/commissary to serve the employees of the park’s industrial tenants, according to the applicant’s draft environmental impact statement. The proposed buildings would range in size from approximately 44,000-to 57,000 square feet; the commissary would be 1,500 square feet. The site is presently vacant land immediately east of the Tractor Supply/Sky Materials site. A former agricultural property, it is located in the Industrial C zoning use district. Warehouses and indoor manufacturing are permitted uses as-of-right in the Industrial C district.

A market analysis prepared for the developer concludes there is sufficient demand in the market area to justify the development.

Phase one, consisting of four buildings, is expected to be completed by 2023, according to the DEIS. Phase two, consisting of four buildings, is expected to be completed by 2025, the document says.

The proposed industrial development would be located on the south side of Middle Country Road, 570 feet east of Fresh Pond Avenue. RiverheadLOCAL illustration. Image: Google Earth

The site would be fully cleared for the development, which will also include surface parking areas providing 326 parking stalls, loading areas for trucks, sidewalks, fencing and landscaping. Development would result in 21.5 acres of impervious surfaces and 7.8 acres of landscaping and lawns.

Approximately 1,555 cubic yards of trees and shrubs would be cleared from the site, requiring 65 truck trips in phase one and 13 truck trips in phase two, according to the DEIS. Approximately 44,512 cubic yards of topsoil would be removed from the site, requiring 1,917 truck trips, the document says. About 4,298 cubic yards of topsoil would be reused on site. Site grading would result in an “excess cut” of approximately 6,279 cubic yards of material to be removed from the site, requiring 309 truck trips in phase two. Removal of materials would require about six months for each phase.

No endangered, threatened, or rare species or significant ecological communities are known or expected to be present on the project site, the DEIS says. The project site contains habitat that could be utilized by the northern long-eared bat, a listed threatened species, during the summer months. Six species listed as Species of Special Concern by New York State are expected to occur on the project site including eastern box turtle, Cooper’s hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow and horned lark.

The proposal includes a proposed sewage treatment plant designed to treat 20,000 gallons per day.

It also includes a proposed extension of and connection to the Riverhead Water District for its total projected potable water usage of 20,000 gallons per day and 1,881 gallons per day for irrigation (averaged over the year.) Currently only the first 500 feet of the site south of Middle Country Road is within the water district and there is no active connection from the site to the water main located in the road.

The water district informed the developer it is “currently unable to issue a water availability letter for a multitude of reasons for this project,” according to the DEIS, appendix I.

However, based on consultations with the RWD, the document says, public water supply to the subject property for the proposed project would be possible with future planned infrastructure projects inclusive of new storage and supply wells. It is anticipated that an impact fee or tax levy may be imposed for the completion of the future planned infrastructure projects, according to the DEIS.

The DEIS presents an alternative development plan calling for the installation of on-site wells to serve the industrial park, rather than connection to the Riverhead Water District.

The developer’s traffic impact study says the proposed development will produce 164 peak hour trips in and out of the site during weekday peak hours, mornings and evenings, and 181 trips in and out during the Saturday midday peak hour. Most would be passenger vehicles, with between 16 and 29 trucks expected in and out during each peak hour, weekdays and Saturdays.

Most traffic would come from the Long Island Expressway via Edwards Avenue, according to the study, which states that the State Department of Transportation told the traffic consultant “the intersection of Middle Country Road and Edwards Avenue will undergo roadway improvements” consisting of the addition of exclusive left-turn lanes at all approaches and realignment of the northbound and southbound Edwards Avenue approaches to the intersection.

The proposal would generate approximately 50 to 60 construction jobs and 459 permanent jobs, according to the DEIS.

At the current tax rate, the proposed development would generate $1,215,000 per year in total property taxes.

The applicant has applied to the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency “for select tax exemptions, including real property tax, sales tax and mortgage recording tax,” according to the DEIS. The applicant has not yet made a presentation at an IDA board of directors meeting and no information about the application appears on the IDA website.

Planned rooftop solar arrays would produce 2.4 megawatts of electricity that will be sold to LIPA, the document says.

The public hearing before the Riverhead Planning Board will be held on Thursday, Aug. 5 at Riverhead Town Hall. The public comment period close on Aug. 16. The DEIS may be accessed on the town’s website, and copies for public review are available at the town clerk’s office at Riverhead Town Hall and at the Riverhead library.

The DEIS was prepared pursuant to a final scoping statement for the project adopted by the Riverhead Planning Board on Nov. 19 after a Nov. 5 public hearing. The town hired a consultant to assist it with preparing the scoping statement.

The Planning board on June 17 accepted the DEIS as complete for public review and circulation to involved agencies, pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act. It was made available to the public after its June 30 publication in the state’s Environmental Notice Bulletin.

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