The Riverhead Town Board first discussed a potential moratorium on...

The Riverhead Town Board first discussed a potential moratorium on industrial development in the hamlet of Calverton at an Oct. 27 work session. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

A proposed 18-month moratorium on applications on industrial development in Calverton appears to be gaining support among hamlet residents, who have told officials they are worried about the long- and short-term impacts of more than a half dozen projects under consideration or in progress.

A Tuesday meeting of the Riverhead Town Board was attended by about 50 people, many of them from Calverton. Residents who spoke said a moratorium would allow the town more time to finish its Comprehensive Plan, which outlines guidelines for development, and give officials an opportunity to examine the community impacts of such development.

A 412,000-square-foot industrial building by developer H.K. Ventures on Middle Country Road is among pending projects that Jacqueline O’Donnell, of Calverton, told the board is among “a disproportionate amount” of large-scale developments being considered in the hamlet.

“A cumulative impact study is needed to determine if this small area can absorb so much industry without irreparable harm to our residents,” O’Donnell said.

Claudette Bianco, of Baiting Hollow, also expressed concerns about the area’s future if too many industrial development projects are given the go-ahead.

“Projects of this magnitude will not only have a severe detrimental impact on our roads, electric grid, water and sewer systems, they will also cause increased traffic, noise, light and public safety issues, permanently altering the serene agricultural atmosphere of Calverton,” Bianco told the board.

The town board first discussed a potential moratorium at a work session on Oct. 27. Councilman Tim Hubbard said he supports the move, though Supervisor Yvette Aguiar previously told Newsday she worries that halting projects that are far along, particularly the H.K. Ventures project, may trigger litigation by developers against the town.

No residents spoke against a potential moratorium.

Danielle Kilfoyle, of Calverton, also asked the board to support the moratorium.

“I ask that we the taxpayers, the current and future residents of this town, be considered above and beyond any single developer,” Kilfoyle said. “The taxes we pay now and the taxes we’ll pay during our time in this community far exceed what these applicants have spent so far.”

Toqui Terchun, president of the Greater Calverton Civic Association, said petitions supporting a moratorium have collected hundreds of signatures.

The planning board is expected soon to send a recommendation to the Riverhead Town Board that it adopt a moratorium on all development applications.


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