Neighbors complain about concrete plant

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Neighbors of a Kings Park precast concrete plant say noisy, nearly round-the-clock work at the site is disrupting their daily lives.

The residents brought their complaints Tuesday night to a meeting of the Town of Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals, which is considering granting precast contractor KPE II a certificate of existing use. The company argues it needs the document to obtain permits for buildings at its site at 110 Old Northport Rd.

Homeowners said they have been awakened by predawn rock-crushing and other activity at the site in the 16 months since Westbury-based KPE bought the property. Some residents said their Mother's Day plans were upended by noises that sounded like explosions.

"It's ruining our lives," said Steven Silverman, of Commack. "We just want peace and quiet."

KPE's attorney, John C. Armentano of Uniondale, said the company does not operate at night and could not have caused the loud noises, suggesting they came from other businesses in the area. Residents derided the comments.

To buttress his case for the existing-use certificate, Armentano offered aerial photographs and other documents to show the business had operated continuously for about 80 years. He said KPE has permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to remove solid waste from the site.

The zoning appeals board could deny the application if it determines that work there had ceased for a significant amount of time.

Witnesses -- including two KPE owners -- said they had seen or taken part in work such as precast molding, concrete crushing and trucking. They said work at the site never stopped, though some conceded it had slowed several years ago as the site's previous owners prepared to sell it.

"The only difference is that it's not as robust as it was in the past," said Kevin Cahill, of Mastic Beach, a laborer who said he has visited the site for decades. "It's more of a mom-and-pop business."

Residents countered that the site appeared dormant from 2008 until KPE purchased it last year. "If I could sum it up in one word: dump," said Michelle Garry of Kings Park. "It has become a dump."

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Board member Anthony Tanzi said work there was different under KPE. "It seems to me the primary use has become rock crushing," he said.

The board did not indicate when it would make a decision.

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