A Hempstead Village Planning Board meeting on a proposed waste transfer station has been postponed a fourth time after hundreds of residents picketed the hearing.
Officials said an overflow crowd for Monday night's meeting at Village Hall forced the planning board to reschedule the meeting for an undetermined date at a larger venue to accommodate all residents interested in attending the hearing.
The board is considering plans for a 15,020-square-foot waste transfer station at Sewell and Mirschel streets on a decontaminated brownfield site in Hempstead Village.
The facility would process green waste and construction materials from landscaping and construction companies at the property, zoned as industrial, but located across the street from homes. It's also situated between a scrap-metal recycling plant and an auto repair shop.
Hempstead-based Fildon LLC and Inwood-based Don Cristi LLC were to present their plans Monday but agreed to postpone the meeting after objections from the crowd that stood out the door and into the street.
Legislator Siela Bynoe said she helped organize the turnout and was among many community leaders chanting, " 'Take your waste somewhere else!' I have been in opposition to this waste transfer station since the beginning. The potential hazards that would affect the health and safety of our residents and communities are far reaching and extensive," she said.Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall Sr. said the meeting could be rescheduled for sometime in November. He said the planning board agreed to listen to public comment, though it is not required to under its bylaws. The village board cannot comment on the project until the planning board renders a decision.
"There was an overwhelming group totally against this dump. They totally don't want it here, and they had to postpone that part of the meeting because they couldn't accommodate everyone who wanted to speak," Hall said. "It's important to let people express how they feel about it."
Michael L. Cirrito, a Hempstead-based attorney for the developers, said plans have been modified since they were proposed in March, to add additional ventilation and carbon filters to exhaust away from homes.
He reiterated that Department of Environmental Conservation regulations require any green waste to be picked up within 24 hours after delivery.
"I think there's a misconception about what this is going to be," Cirrito said. "The public perception is this would be a dump, but all of this is self-contained in the building. Nothing's perfect, but it's as close to perfect as possible."