A controversial Kings Park industrial business embroiled in a lawsuit with the Town of Smithtown has asked for a zone change to construct a single-family home development on its property.
KPE II Llc is asking to rezone about 20.9 acres from light industrial to residential single family in the northwest corner of Old Northport and Lawrence roads, adding to its adjacent 3.9-acre property that is already zoned residential but is not developed.
"This property and most of the property around there from the beginning of zoning in 1932 to the late '50s was zoned residential, so this is nothing new," said Smithtown-based attorney Vincent J. Trimarco Sr., who represented KPE II at last week's town planning board meeting.
Trimarco said the site is basically vacant, and described the property's existing use as a "former precast concrete products, industrial yard and concrete cesspool storage" in his change of zone petition.
The Town of Smithtown filed suit against KPE II last year to prevent the company from violating the town's zoning code, after receiving numerous residential complaints of predawn rock-crushing and odors. Smithtown Town Attorney Matthew Jakubowski said the company was active in heavy industrial uses, such as the operation of a solid-waste facility and concrete grinding and processing, in a light industrial zone.
The town received a temporary restraining order against KPE II last year in state Supreme Court to halt illegal activity at the site.
Jakubowski declined to comment on how the company's change of zone application will affect ongoing litigation.Trimarco told the planning board that his clients "want to resolve that litigation and move forward." He asked the board to recommend the town board do an environmental-impact statement soon to determine whether the proposal would be feasible, adding, "it's a concern of the neighbors and it's a concern of my clients. They don't want to build anything that may be detrimental to the people that live there."
But Anthony Leteri, president of USA Recycling, located southeast of the property, cautioned the board. "When the residents realize, day after day, that they are looking up at a 36-foot-tall waste commodity recycling transfer center, these residents are going to feel cheated by the Town of Smithtown for allowing residential development in this area," he said.
The hearing on the zone change request was adjourned and is scheduled to come before the planning board again at its May 7 meeting.