The Riverhead Town Board will not require an environmental impact study of plans for a proposed health care and drug and alcohol abuse treatment facility at the Enterprise Park at Calverton.
The board voted 4-1 at its Feb. 7 meeting not to issue a positive declaration on the Peconic Care project site plan’s environmental impact on the EPCAL site. The vote means the town board will not need a more intensive environmental review of the project before eventually voting whether to approve site plans for the facility.
The project calls for constructing six buildings on roughly 40 acres at the Calverton site that would house 130 beds — with the potential for 30 extra beds — for inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient care provisions. The 133,917-square-foot facility would also include an extended care building, fitness center, an arts and crafts barn and a gate house.
However, a resolution on the board’s agenda stated that the board was concerned the project had “the potential for significant environmental and social impacts” caused by the facility’s construction. The board’s concerns included noise, the potential effect on local water resources and endangered species and the possibility of alternative locations to house the facility.
Christopher Kent, an attorney for the Peconic Care project, said project officials have been in discussion with neighbors of the proposed site and that they “have no issue with the proposed use” at EPCAL. Other project officials told the board that the facility would generate about 171 local jobs and that they had addressed all environmental and noise concerns. Officials added they talked with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to discuss protective measures for endangered species living near the site.
Supervisor Sean Walter was the lone vote in favor of a positive declaration on the site, saying it is “the single silliest place” to place the project in light of the noise concerns and other issues.
However, Riverhead Town Councilman James Dunleavy, who voted no, said Riverhead needed to “put their foot forward and have a state-of-the-art facility” for substance abuse treatment.
Calls to several project officials for comment were not immediately returned.
While the vote means the project will not need a draft environmental impact statement on any environmental issues at the site, Walter said at the meeting that several more steps remain and that there was “a long way to go” before the project’s final site plan can be approved.