12/11/13 9:38pm
12/11/2013 9:38 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Sidor Farms in Cutchogue has received $50,000 from the state to expand its potato chip manufacturing operation.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Sidor Farms in Cutchogue has received $50,000 from the state to expand its potato chip manufacturing operation.

The latest round of the New York Regional Economic Development Council awards were announced Wednesday and more than $4 million is coming directly to the North Fork.

A total of $715.9 million in state funds and tax credits were awarded to the 10 regional councils across New York. Long Island is receiving $83 million for a total of 98 projects, the most of any region in the state.

Nine of those projects are on the North Fork.

Below is a list of each of the local projects, the name of the applicant, the state’s description of the project and the amount awarded.

Projects are listed in descending order based on the total number of dollars received.

Town of Riverhead Community Development Agency

Project: EPCAL Sewer Treatment Upgrade

Funding: $1.34 million

Description: Upgrade of Calverton sewage treatment plant from secondary to tertiary treatment, which will provide both economic development and environmental benefits to this regionally significant project site with immediate potential for job creation benefit.

EBDK Research at Calverton 

Project: CARE NY (Calverton Addiction Research and Education Research Center)

Funding: $1 million

Description: CARE NY (Calverton Addiction Research Education), a substance addiction Research Center and a separate Recovery Center, will construct an addiction research and education center at the Calverton Enterprise Park to complement an adjacent proposed treatment center.

Peconic Landing

Project: Special Needs and Acute Rehabilitation Center

Funding: $800,000

Description: This $44 million project is the expansion of dementia care and rehabilitation facility in Greenport.

Long Island Wine Council

Project: Access East End

Funding: $285,000

Description: This program is a multimodal transportation and marketing initiative to generate visitor traffic from the NY metro area, east coast, national and international source markets during off-season and midweek periods. By opening the East End of Long Island to new customers from the NY metro area and other east coast population centers, we expect that this program will draw thousands of new visitors to the region.

Skydive Long Island 

Project: Altitude Express Indoor Skydiving Facility

Funding: $250,000

Description: Altitude Express Inc. will build an indoor skydiving attraction on Long Island which will operate year round. The company anticipates this attraction will draw another 50,000-100,000 visitors to the area annually.

East End Arts Humanities Council

Project: Long Island Winterfest

Funding: $162,000

Description: East End Arts is requesting grant funds to support an expanded marketing strategy and to hire a festival coordinator to support the implementation of a five-year strategic plan toward a goal of growth and sustainability of LIWinterfest: Live on the Vine, an award winning agricultural tourism program designed to generate tourism traffic to the East End of Long Island during the slowest months.

East End Arts Humanities Council

Project: Winterfest Expansion Project

Funding: $99,408

Description: East End Arts will expand marketing strategies and hire a festival coordinator to improve growth and sustainability of its LI Winterfest — an award winning agri-cultural tourism program. The six-week program of live music performances at wineries, theaters and area hotels, along with special promotions at restaurants, hotels, transportation companies and area businesses generates tourism traffic to East End of Long Island during the off-season months.

Sidor Farms 

Project: Business Expansion

Funding: $50,000

Description:  The Cutchogue company will expand its potato chip manufacturing operation and tour facility including a museum on the History of Long Island Potato Farming.

Ultra Motion 

Project: Advanced Manufacturing Skills Program

Funding: $30,000

Description: Ultra Motion LLC of Cutchogue will train six workers in IPC (Institute for Printed Circuits) J-STD-001D Soldering Certification, computer-aided design, inventory control, and supply chain management.

[email protected]

06/27/11 9:34am
06/27/2011 9:34 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The house on Green Street in South Jamesport.

A new house under construction in South Jamesport has drawn the ire of some neighbors, who are saying it’s too big and out of character with the neighborhood and that it’s built on a higher grade than other area houses and will cause rainwater to flood onto their properties.

They also question how the town even allowed it to be built.

“His cesspools are going to be at the same level as his neighbor’s windows,” said neighbor Larry Simms, who owns a home across the street. “And an area that gets flooded already is going to get flooded even more because of this.”

Mr. Simms said the home covers 30 percent of the lot, and code only permits 15 percent coverage in this area.

The Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association has also begun looking into the issue, according to its president, Georgette Keller.

“We’ve heard some grumblings about it,” she said. The issue was brought to their attention by Mr. Simms, she said.

But the owner of the house says he has all the necessary permits, that other neighbors have complimented him on the house and that it’s being built according to “green” standards and will retain rainwater on its property.

The house is located on Green Street, across from Dunlookin Lane, and is owned by Glen Ravn of Rockville Centre, who purchased it in late 2010 and says he plans to live in it himself. Construction began shortly after he bought the land.

The lot in question was originally part of a 32,000-square-foot parcel that was granted a subdivision in 2003 by the Zoning Board of Appeals, which carved it into two 16,000-square-foot lots.

Zoning in the area is RB40, which requires a minimum lot size of 40,000 square feet, or approximately one acre. But the ZBA granted the subdivision in 2003, shortly before the Town Board was set to approve a new Master Plan that called for new zoning in 2004. The prior zoning called for minimum lot sizes of 20,000 square feet.

While subdivisions are normally the jurisdiction of the Planning Board, the applicant at the time, Ashley Homes of LI, had applied for an area variance from the ZBA to allow the smaller lots, and was approved. In 2005, the ZBA also granted a one-year extension of that variance.

When Ashley Homes submitted a subdivision application to the Planning Board in 2005, it was rejected on the grounds that it didn’t comply with the new zoning. Ashley Homes took the Planning Board to court on that ruling, and was successful in both in state Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals, which ruled that the Planning Board could not overrule the ZBA’s verdict.
The 2007 Court of Appeals ruling did point out, however, that the ZBA approval had expired, although it said there was nothing in the ruling prohibiting the applicant from applying for a further extension.

On Dec. 14, 2010, the town building department sent a letter to Mr. Ravn saying he needed to apply for an extension of the ZBA approval.

Mr. Ravn said in an interview this week that he didn’t recall seeing that letter, but that even so, he doesn’t believe he needs an extension.

“I already have a building permit. I have a letter from the town engineer confirming that this a separate lot. I’ve got approvals from the health department,” he said.

“Every agency has already recognized this as approved and taken the fees. I’ve even paid the Pine Barrens tax,” he said, referring to the 2 percent tax on real estate transfers for land preservation.

Ashley Homes, which still owns the other 16,000-square-foot lot that resulted from the subdivision.

But Ashley Homes president Ashok Agrawal told the News-Review he doesn’t want Mr. Ravn using the approvals he received, adding that the house currently being built doesn’t conform to the plans for which he had previously received a building permit. Mr. Agrawal sent a letter to the building department in December asking that Mr. Ravn not be allowed to his permit. The building department wrote back, saying it was too late, because construction had already started.

“The permit is in my name, but I’m not building, so I want it discontinued,” Mr. Agrawal said in an interview Tuesday. “I used my insurance to get this permit, and I don’t want to be held responsible if something goes wrong.”

He said he has already received a letter from the building department telling him to install a fence around the property, even though it’s no longer his property.

Mr. Agrawal said the grade on the property is higher than his plans called for, and the building is taller than zoning allows.
Mr. Ravn told the News-Review that the building and the grade of the land are required to be at the heights at which he’s building them because “of a new law in which I must be above the 100-year flood plain.”

Mr. Ravn said the house is designed to capture rainwater before it runs into the street.

“I have to take all the water off the roof and put it into dry wells,” he said. “Most of them time when you have runoff problems, it’s from water running off the property, but the biggest footprint here is the house itself, which is designed to capture rainwater and prevent it from going into the street.”

Mr. Ravn said he is an engineer and builds “green” houses himself.

Riverhead Town Attorney Bob Kozakiewicz said his office is investigating the complaints brought by Mr. Simms, but he couldn’t comment on the case since it’s under investigation. He did say, however, that it does have a building permit and, with regard to the ZBA approval, that approvals generally run with the land, not the landowner.

Mr. Simms said Mr. Kozakiewicz has been investigating the case for more than six weeks.

“What’s taking him so long?” he asked a reporter. “And why don’t they shut down the construction while they’re investigating? Each day the structure is closer to completion it will be harder to make them undo it if something is built illegally. I’ve seen too many compromises in our community, in which rules are broken, mistakes are discovered too late and project owners pay a nominal fine and get exactly what they wanted.”

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said he was not familiar enough with the case to comment.

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