Consultants: EPCAL subdivision map is ’90 percent complete’

04/24/2012 7:00 AM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The long-awaited subdivision map for Riverhead Town’s land at the Calverton Enterprise Park is near completion.

The long-awaited subdivision map for Riverhead Town’s land at the Calverton Enterprise Park is “90 percent complete,” according to the consultant hired by the town.

But Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter says the town plans to conduct a full-blown environmental impact study, which could take about a year, before adopting the subdivision map.

Mr. Walter said the cost of building roads and sewers at EPCAL is estimated at $14 million and $30 million, respectively. The town will seek grants for that work from the Long Island Regional Planning Council, he said, because it doesn’t have that money now.

“We, as a town, are not making all these improvements,” he said.

The town may even consider amending its code so it doesn’t have to post bonds to ensure that the improvements are made, as a normal applicant would, and would instead be able to do the work as it becomes necessary and when the money is available, Mr. Walter said.

The subdivision is needed before the town can legally sell individual lots at EPCAL. Whereas the previous Town Board sought to sell large sections of the land — one proposed deal involved 755 acres and another 300 acres — this plan would chop the town-owned land into 48 smaller lots.

Many of the lots fronting Route 25 would be between five and 10 acres. Others vary from 10 to 20 acres and some from 30 to 40 acres, according to Kevin Walsh of VHB Engineering, which is preparing the subdivision map. Mr. Walsh addressed the Town Board on the map’s progress at Thursday’s Town Board work session, where he said the work is 90 percent done.

“I think these lots are going to sell very quickly,” Mr. Walter said. The larger lots could still be subdivided further in the future, he said.

The proposed plan leaves most of the 300 acres on the eastern part of the property, which the town had planned to sell, as open space. It also gives the town the option of shortening the active 10,000-foot runway on the eastern part of the site if needed.

“Nobody has a 10,000-foot runway,” Councilman John Dunleavy said.

The western runway, which is not active, would be incorporated into the roadways.

Town board members also discussed amending the fire district boundary lines at EPCAL, which Mr. Walsh said “are a little bit strange.”

The Wading River Fire District boundary runs about 500 feet in off Route 25. South of that, it becomes Manorville Fire District, meaning that many of the proposed new lots would be split between those districts, Councilman John Dunleavy said. The Riverhead Fire District also covers parts of EPCAL.

Town officials are considering designating one lot at EPCAL for construction of a new fire and ambulance substation. They also plan to meet with Peconic YMCA during next Thursday’s work session to discuss giving them a lot next to the Grumman Memorial on Route 25.

Officials also are considering retaining some of the recreational uses in the current zoning on three larger parcels on the western portion of the property, near where the town is building a new park.

Once the subdivision map is ready, the next step would be for the town to conduct a scoping hearing, at which residents would be able to suggest issues they think should be included in an environmental impact study for the map. After that, officials said, the town would need to prepare an environmental assessment form declaring whether the study is needed and, if it is, do the study itself.

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