Smithtown seeks to halt work at Kings Park contractor

Town of Smithtown Councilman Robert Creighton. (June 30, Town of Smithtown Councilman Robert Creighton. (June 30, 2011) Photo Credit: James Escher

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Smithtown Town attorneys plan Monday to seek a state court order to halt composting and rock crushing at a Kings Park precast concrete contractor.

Town representatives are expected to ask a State Supreme Court judge in Riverhead to bar KPE II, on Old Northport Road, from those activities because they violate the town zoning code, Town Attorney John Zollo said Friday.

The action was authorized by a 4-0 vote of the town board on Thursday. John C. Armentano, an attorney for KPE II, did not return calls for comment last week.

Councilman Robert Creighton did not vote. He said he supported the plan to take the company to court, but abstained because his son, Robert C. Creighton, is an attorney with Farrell Fritz, the Uniondale firm that represents KPE II.

Creighton, a Republican seeking to unseat Supervisor Patrick Vecchio in a primary, was accused by several residents at the meeting of a conflict of interest because of his son's employment. "I resolved it tonight by not voting," he said.

Neighbors demanded that board members crack down on KPE II, saying noise, dust and odors from the company's trucks and machinery disrupt their lives.

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"We no longer enjoy living in our community," Michelle Garry said. "There are numerous violations every single day . . . Go down there and write summonses."

Vecchio said town public safety officers patrol the area and issue tickets when they suspect wrongdoing. "They're very good at what they do," he said.

Officials say the firm violated town code by taking in waste for storage or demolition. The town board of zoning appeals last month rejected the company's application for a certificate of existing use, which would have allowed the firm to operate virtually without town oversight.

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At a November public hearing, company representatives said the firm was exempt from town codes because it had operated continuously since before the law was adopted about 50 years ago.

But the zoning appeals board, in its decision, said the company apparently ceased operations for several years before new owners bought the firm two years ago.

Creighton, a former Suffolk police commissioner who lives in Kings Park, said residents should call the county's Fourth Precinct when they suspect violations.

He said he called police when he believed KPE II trucks were breaking the law, but the vehicles appeared to have left before police arrived.

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