Kings Park businesses take hint, leave town

Jezco Containers, based in Kings Park, moved its Jezco Containers, based in Kings Park, moved its operation to Yaphank. It was among the businesses that faced changes under Smithtown Town's plan to re-zone a section of Kings Park. (May 3, 2013) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

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Two embattled Kings Park trucking businesses -- opposed by some neighbors over noise and environmental concerns -- have relocated to Yaphank.

Jezco of New York, Llc, and Jezco Containers, Llc, moved within the last month, said Leonard Shore, attorney for John Gesuale who owns the companies.

The businesses are located with other industrial companies on about 45 acres at 1 Lawrence Rd. The Town of Smithtown is seeking to permanently enjoin in New York State Supreme Court the numerous businesses that are operating illegally by violating town zoning codes.

The town's pursuit of a restraining order in May "was the straw that broke the camel's back," said Shore.

Smithtown Town Attorney John Zollo said the area's property is largely zoned for residential use, with two parcels zoned for light industry.

"Many of the owners and tenants at 1 Lawrence Rd. were using the property for a trucking station and construction and demolition recycling, none of which is permitted in either of those zoning categories," said Zollo.

Residents have complained about "mountains of debris," heavy truck traffic and concerns about "what's leeched into the soil, and ultimately the groundwater," said Michelle Garry, a member of the Old Northport Road-Lawrence Road Task Force.

"When you drive by now, there's a significant reduction of tractor trailers, large heavy equipment," said Garry of Gesuale's property. "We're pretty skeptical of it, but we're hopeful, because there are so many different entities that are involved in that parcel of land."

Shore said that resident complaints "did not influence [Gesuale's] decision to relocate," but said, "He just felt . . . he wasn't going to be able to operate his trucking business on Lawrence Road."

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick R. Vecchio said, "We're all pleased because . . . the injunction motivated Jezco to move its operation elsewhere," adding that "Jezco's folks probably do not wish to be tied up in litigation."

Gesuale deeded his property to relatives about two years ago and had since remained as a tenant on the property, said Shore.

"The family has owned the property since the 1960s and been doing trucking, concrete manufacture and similar operations since that time -- long before the surrounding houses were constructed," he said.

Since Gesuale is no longer operating in Kings Park, Shore said he does not plan on submitting papers in opposition to the injunctive relief due this month.

Zollo said "the area has been neglected for the last 30 or 40 years, and the town really didn't do anything to enforce zoning over there," but, "legally, you can never make a claim that the town's inaction makes something legal . . . We've just got to go one step at a time to try to bring some order to the area."

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