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Setback for closed Plainview concrete plant

A Westbury company suing the Town of Oyster Bay and its planning commissioner was dealt a legal setback Friday in its effort to reopen a Plainview concrete plant shuttered for permit and zoning violations.

State Supreme Court Justice John M. Galasso on Friday denied the company's request for a temporary restraining order that would have allowed Armanida Realty Corp. to reopen its concrete plant at 182 Fairchild Ave., while the case progressed through the court system.

Armanida and Oyster Bay must now submit new filings to the court by Aug. 24.

The plant was shut in early May, when Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Frederick P. Ippolito sent a notice to the concrete company that it was violating zoning laws, and creating "noise, fumes, odors, and the like."

"The plant is causing unacceptable risks to the safety and health of neighboring residents," the notice said.

Town of Oyster Bay Deputy Attorney Donna B. Swanson said in court Friday that concrete manufacturing was not allowed on property zoned as light industrial.

"They are clearly in violation of our zoning laws," Swanson said.

But Armanida attorney Keith M. Corbett said the decision and the three-month closure has left the company "teetering on the edge of bankruptcy."

"We believe the action that was taken was draconian, and illegal," Corbett said.

He also said that the town had shut an office building on the site that houses other businesses, depriving Armanida of rent from tenants.

Corbett and Town of Oyster Bay Deputy Attorney Donna B. Swanson sparred in court over the validity of Ippolito's decision deeming the site dangerous.

Corbett argued that the town's code couldn't be applied to the concrete plant, because its language refers to buildings or structures -- not a "hole in the ground next to the LIE."

He said Armanida had applications for permits pending with Oyster Bay since 2007.

"They allowed my client to do business for five years, and then they shut him down," Corbett said.

Swanson countered that the town had been waiting for a response to its communications with the company.

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