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Smithtown board tables latest waiver request for vacant lumber yard

The site of a former lumber yard in

The site of a former lumber yard in Smithtown, July 23, 2015. Credit: Ed Betz

Plans for a long-vacant lumber yard on Smithtown's Main Street have been delayed again, further frustrating town council members.

At a recent work session, the town board debated the merits of approving a waiver request for VEA 181st Realty Corp., the owner of a lot at 102 W. Main St. that is opposite Town Hall. The East Hampton-based developer, Salvatore DiCarlo, requested permission to grind concrete on the premises, a proposal staunchly opposed by Supervisor Patrick Vecchio.

Vecchio questioned DiCarlo's motive, pointing out that the developer has requested three waivers and appeared to be stalling.

"When is he going to build?" Vecchio asked. "When will he show some good faith?" The supervisor added that he has "no confidence" the developer will build anything.

In 2013, DiCarlo received a special exception from the board of zoning appeals to build accessory apartments but has yet to submit an updated site plan for construction. The tentative plan is to construct a three-story apartment complex with about 56 units, planning director David Flynn said at the July 14 meeting.

A demolition site plan was approved last July, and since then, two vacant buildings and the former Nassau-Suffolk Lumber and Supply Corp. have been razed. DiCarlo proposes grinding concrete on-site and piling the material in a 5-foot-high mound on the premises, which would then be planted with vegetation.

Councilman Robert Creighton said he was taken aback by this suggestion, and instead proposed spreading the ground concrete evenly throughout the site.

Flynn said DiCarlo was volunteering to adopt stringent requirements, such as limiting work to specific hours. He recommended the board approve the waiver, subject to several conditions, including planting throughout the entire site.

Approving the waiver would also eliminate potential traffic, since there would be no trucking required, Flynn added. Council members agreed to table the issue until next month and asked the planning department to meet with DiCarlo to get a better sense of construction plans.

It's been about a decade since DiCarlo took ownership of the property, Flynn said. This latest setback joins a host of issues, including a 2012 grand jury investigation into whether DiCarlo illegally demolished structures on the site to save on taxes. No charges were filed.

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