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Smithtown starts 24-hour surveillance of Kings Park industrial site

Smithtown town officials have started round-the-clock monitoring of a Kings Park industrial site they say has stored heavy equipment and processed tree debris in violation of residential and light industrial zoning on portions of the site.

Public Safety Director John Valentine said the town began the 24-hour monitoring of 1 Lawrence Rd. at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

"Within a couple of hours of surveillance, we observed what appeared to be town code violations and have referred them to the town attorney's office," Valentine said.

The upgraded enforcement comes after state Supreme Court Judge Daniel Martin in Riverhead in July granted the town a preliminary injunction, which was put into effect in September. It prohibited Ann Gesuale, Thomas A. Gesuale Sr., Thomas A. Gesuale Jr., John Gesuale, Margaret Acerra -- who co-own the property -- and several trusts and businesses associated with the family from undertaking heavy industrial activities that violate town zoning code.

The ruling barred the Gesuales and their operators from permitting outdoor storage of tractor-trailer trucks, office trailers and other heavy industrial equipment.

The ruling also forbade them from accepting and storing broken concrete, asphalt, mulch, tree stumps, branches and leaves.

Kings Park resident Larry Shaw at Tuesday's town board meeting asked officials for the 24-hour monitoring because of what he called "obnoxious noise" coming from the site.

"This Saturday . . . I got awakened up at 7 o'clock in the morning by banging you wouldn't believe," he said. "I don't even know what it was."

Melissa Corwin, attorney at Commack-based Somer, Heller & Corwin LLP, which represents owners of about 44 acres of the Kings Park site, said Martin's ruling does not restrict noise and said no additional debris has been brought there in about a year.

Corwin said the ruling restricts her clients, who need to clear the property of debris, some of which stemmed from superstorm Sandy and was brought to the site at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We're going to need the machinery and we're going to need to generate noise to remove the debris," she said, adding it occurs only during business hours. "These residents in the area who are upset with the noise moved into this location when it was an existing industrial property, knowing that this industrial property was functioning, and now they're complaining."

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