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Town considers asking court to close Kings Park composter

Smithtown's town board is to vote Thursday on

Smithtown's town board is to vote Thursday on a resolution authorizing Town Attorney John Zollo to seek a state Supreme Court order to stop a composting operation on Old Northport Road in Kings Park. (Feb. 28, 2013) Credit:

Smithtown's town board is weighing a plan to ask a state court for permission to shut down a Kings Park business for violating local zoning laws.

The board is set to vote Thursday night on a resolution authorizing town attorney John Zollo to seek a State Supreme Court order enjoining KPE II of Old Northport Road "from engaging in any unlawful activities and/or operating in violation of the town code."

Town officials accuse the company, which bills itself as a precast concrete contractor, of illegally composting.

Supervisor Patrick  Vecchio said his office is "inundated" by calls from neighbors who say KPE trucks and its composting facilities disrupt their lives. "If it's wrong to do, then we're going to enjoin them," Vecchio said.

Officials of KPE and its Uniondale-based law firm, Farrell Fritz, did not return calls for comment.

Attorneys for KPE argued at a November public hearing that the company is exempt from town laws because it has operated continuously since before the code was adopted about 50 years ago.

Councilman Robert Creighton, who this week announced he would try to unseat Vecchio, said he would not vote on the resolution because his son, Robert C. Creighton, is a partner with Farrell Fritz.

"My vote has nothing to do with my son's law firm," Creighton said. "I would vote on what I think is correct. However, because there is the mere appearance of it, I'm going to abstain."

Creighton acknowledged that Farrell Fritz's political action committee has donated $2,400 to his campaign coffers since January 2010, as records show. "They've come to my golf outings," he said.

The firm has not given to Vecchio's campaign.

The town board of zoning appeals on Feb. 12 denied KPE's application for a certificate of existing use that would allow the company to continue operating. The board said KPE had illegally engaged in "crushing, sorting and disposing of demolition debris."

The company has continued operating despite the zoning board decision, said resident Lisa Inzerillo. She said her driveway vibrates from KPE machinery more than two blocks away, and "horrible" odors that she also described as "a very chemical, like, burning smell," have caused her daughter to vomit while waiting for a school bus. "It's insane. They work all night long," she said.

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