Riverhead Costco construction draws complaints

The future site of a Costco store along The future site of a Costco store along Route 58 in Riverhead. (Sept. 2, 2013) Photo Credit: News 12 Long Island

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More than 50 people from communities near a Costco store under construction in Riverhead complained to the town planning board Tuesday -- as they have for the past year -- about noise and dust from the work site.

They also asked what plans are being made to build a berm or a fence to give them privacy.

One planning board member promised that the town's code enforcement department would be alerted to their complaints. And another said he would visit the site to see conditions firsthand. But the board adjourned without taking action.

Residents of nearby Foxwood Village and Millbrook said noise and dust from the bulldozing of 41 acres along Route 58 and subsequent construction have overwhelmed their communities.

Robert Hall, speaking for Foxwood Village residents, told the planning board that an 8-foot fence at the edge of the property does not screen them from the noise and dust of construction or from the lights that will be installed in the parking lot.

He, like most of the other protesters at the meeting, wore a sign around his neck: "Enough is enough. Fix the problem you created."

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Richard O'Dea, planning board chairman, responded to complaints that independent contractors were not following a requirement that water must be sprayed to keep down dust. He promised that "code enforcement will be notified."

Ed Densieski, a former town councilman now on the planning board, promised to go to Foxwood and see the problem.

Last month, residents said, town Supervisor Sean Walter told them town code allows developers in some commercial zones to have buffers as narrow as 10 feet. Walter could not be reached for comment.

The town is in the process of adopting a zoning code change that would require 50-foot buffers between commercial and residential properties. It would not affect this project.

A heavily planted earthen berm is to be constructed by the developer at the edge of the property, to screen the shopping center from its neighbors, but town planner Rick Hanley said only partial drawings had been submitted.

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