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Riverhead, Stop & Shop offer new options for addressing noise complaints

The supermarket presented the town with a noise evaluation report, and the town will retain its own firm to conduct a study.

Trucks unload by the rear of Stop &

Trucks unload by the rear of Stop & Shop in Riverhead, adjacent to the Glenwood Village on Friday.  Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Riverhead officials are postponing legal action against the operators of a Stop & Shop that has been the subject of noise complaints from residents of a nearby retirement community.

The Riverhead Town Board voted 4-0 at its Jan. 15 meeting on two actions related to the Old Country Road supermarket. The first action withdrew a resolution that would have authorized Town Attorney Robert Kozakiewicz to, if necessary, commence legal action on the New York State Supreme Court level against the supermarket.

The board considered the option at its Jan. 10 work session after residents of Glenwood Village, an age 55-and-over private residential community on Old Country Road, complained that, for years, the supermarket has created constant noise in the daytime caused by trucks, refrigeration units and other operations.

Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith  said that the supermarket — which has noise violations pending in Riverhead Justice Court — last week presented the town with a noise evaluation report conducted by engineering consultant VHB, of Hauppauge. The report contained sound measurements taken on-site and proposed measures to reduce or mitigate those sounds, according to town officials.

The second resolution, which the board passed 4-0, will have the town seek out and retain an acoustical consulting and engineering company to conduct its own sound/noise analysis and offer acoustic recommendations.

“We want to hire somebody to take a look at ...[Stop & Shop’s] sound study to make sure that what they’re presenting to us we are in agreement with,” Jens-Smith said.

Board members said the new measures could both solve the noise issue for the retirement community’s affected residents and potentially avoid the town having to spend money on a lawsuit to resolve the matter.

W. Brian Stark,  president of Stark Homes, which owns and operates the community, said Wednesday he was reviewing the supermarket’s sound study.

“We’re working towards a solution,” Stark said. “I’m not going to take a lawsuit on or off the table, but the parties are speaking. They have their study, and we’re going to do our study and hopefully the studies dovetail towards a productive noise solution.”

A statement from Stop & Shop spokeswoman Jennifer Brogan  confirmed the supermarket has asked an engineering firm “to develop and review plans for sound mitigation which have been presented to the town of Riverhead for review.”

“We're continuing to work with the community and are committed to finding a resolution that will reduce noise levels for our neighbors,” said Brogan.

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