Smithtown officials say businesses violate zoning
A state judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring the expansion of a group of related recycling and trucking businesses that Smithtown officials say are violating the town zoning code.
The June 11 order by State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Martin blocks more than two dozen Kings Park companies -- including Jezco of New York, Jezco Containers, and Town, County and State Recycling -- from storing new trucks and taking in any more concrete, asphalt, mulch, stumps and other debris. The companies, which are controlled by members of the Gesuale family and other owners, occupy 21 lots on 44 acres at the northwest corner of Lawrence and Old Northport roads.
Town officials, who say Jezco and the other businesses operate on land that is predominantly zoned for houses, are asking state judges for an injunction shutting the businesses down. The town and Jezco are due back in court on July 10.
Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said he was disappointed with the judge's order.
"It doesn't go far enough to stop the illegal use of the property," Vecchio said. "We have to continue to push to get an injunction to stop all the illegal uses."
Commack attorney Leonard Shore, representing the companies, said Martin "allowed the status quo to remain and really just forbid any new business or expansion of any existing business." The companies are operating "exactly the same way they were before," Shore added.
"I think the town did not get most of what it was looking for," he said.
Smithtown officials this year have launched a crackdown on Kings Park industrial businesses suspected of violating zoning codes. In March, the town won a temporary restraining order against another Kings Park business, KPE II, which was barred from storing trucks and processing waste.
A decision is pending on the town's request for a temporary injunction against that company.
Neighbors have complained that Jezco and KPE II cause excessive truck traffic, noise and foul stenches.
Larry Shaw, spokesman for the Old Northport Road-Lawrence Road Task Force, a community watchdog group, said he was happy with the Jezco restraining order.
"On balance, I think all of us are pleased by . . . the result of the action, and I think we all hope the town will be successful," he said.
The town is considering rezoning the Jezco and KPE II properties and other Kings Park sites. A consultant hired by the town last year recommended allowing light industrial uses and limited outdoor storage.