The owner of a scrap metal processing company won permission from the Islip Town Board to operate at the site of a former solid waste transfer station in Brentwood, which town officials hope will be a quieter and less noxious presence for its neighbors.
Amy Burbott, the owner of Kings and Queens Transload LLC, sought a change of zone and special permit to operate a scrap metal plant. The site at 80 Emjay Blvd., formerly Emjay Environmental Recycling, was closed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in 2014 after a series of fires destroyed the facility.
The town board unanimously voted to grant the application at the change of zone hearing Thursday. The application now goes to the town Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance because it is within 500 feet of residential areas.
In May, the Suffolk County Planning Commission said it "disapproved" of the application because of its proximity to residential areas, potential to generate truck traffic and inconsistency with local zoning. Residents have also complained about the former solid-waste station's odors.
Islip planning Commissioner Richard Zapolski said his department feels the new scrap metal processing plant would "be an improvement," with less noise and truck traffic and fewer smells. Burbott will build a 12-foot-high fence to block noise, he said, and has agreed to not operate on Sundays.
Zapolski noted that if the application failed, the facility could return to use as a waste transfer station under the current zoning.
"If we vote no on this, a solid waste facility could come back here and we could do nothing about it?" Councilman Steve Flotteron asked Zapolski.
"Correct," Zapolski replied, and noted that the town has received two other inquiries from solid waste companies about using the site.
Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter noted that with the current application, the town has the opportunity to require covenants and restrictions such as posting speed limits in the area.
"Perhaps working together, we can find alternatives" and improve the quality of life there, she said.
Burbott declined to comment after the hearing.