Rendering of an aerial view of a proposed warehouse project...

Rendering of an aerial view of a proposed warehouse project for East Farmingdale. Credit: MAQE

A developer looking to build warehouses on a lot on Route 110 in East Farmingdale is facing hurdles from the ground and air while seeking approval for a project on a property that has sat vacant for nearly a century.

Acadia Republic Farmingdale, LLC has proposed constructing a trucking logistics and storage yard on Route 110 near Conklin Street. The development would include two single-story warehouses and a single-story leasing office totaling 65,000 square feet with nine acres of outdoor storage space.

The property has been the subject of fights between town and state agencies as well as prolonged litigation. In 2010, the state declared the property a Superfund site due to contaminated soil because of previous Fairchild Republic aviation manufacturing uses nearby.

The land also is in a runway protection zone for Republic Airport, where airport officials try to limit density and activity.

“This is a difficult site,” Acadia’s attorney, William Bonesso, told Babylon Town’s planning board at a June 10 public hearing.

He added that the proposal was “a very good attempt to accommodate not only the town’s zoning and planning requirements” but also requirements or recommendations of state and federal agencies.

Acadia has owned the 19-acre site since 2012 and has made previous development pitches for the property, including proposed retail centers in 2016 and 2020. Before that Stew Leonard's supermarket had sought to build there. 

The retail proposals faced opposition largely due to being in a runway protection zone, which the Federal Aviation Administration established for the safety of those on the ground. However, the airport has no final say on the development of the property in question.

The contamination resulted after Fairchild in 1940 began using the property as a discharge pond for industrial processing water and stormwater runoff, according to John Salka, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

He also said in a statement that in 1997 the sump was filled with demolition debris from the company’s plant.

There are semi-volatile organic compounds in the property's shallow soils, according to the DEC, which said tests showed no groundwater contamination at the site. It is bordered by single family homes across East Carmans Road.

The DEC lists the site as a Class 2 state Superfund site, which the agency classifies as being a “significant threat to the public health or environment.” The agency, which in 2015 estimated a cleanup would cost $250 million, also recommended that year that the site be capped and monitored instead.

Acadia said the development plan includes the removal of some of the contaminated soil during construction and that the rest of the site would be capped and monitored according to a DEC plan. 

Two of the buildings in the proposed development are located in a runway’s departure path.

Republic Airport manager John Lauth submitted a letter to the town planning board asking Acadia to move or eliminate those buildings. But Acadia said the plan is not financially viable without buildings there. 

Lauth told Newsday that in May there were 772 departures on that runway.

A handful of residents who came to the June 10 hearing said Acadia has been working to accommodate community concerns but they wanted the site's contamination cleaned up, not just capped. 

Nancy Cypser, a trustee of East Farmingdale's Woodland Civic Association, noted residents used to call the site the “blue lagoon” because the sump water never froze.

“I would hope that the town, before anything starting, would help secure some funding from state and federal agencies to clean this first because people live right across the street,” she added.

The planning board is accepting comments on the proposal until June 24. The project also would need approval from the town's zoning board.

A developer looking to build warehouses on a lot on Route 110 in East Farmingdale is facing hurdles from the ground and air while seeking approval for a project on a property that has sat vacant for nearly a century.

Acadia Republic Farmingdale, LLC has proposed constructing a trucking logistics and storage yard on Route 110 near Conklin Street. The development would include two single-story warehouses and a single-story leasing office totaling 65,000 square feet with nine acres of outdoor storage space.

The property has been the subject of fights between town and state agencies as well as prolonged litigation. In 2010, the state declared the property a Superfund site due to contaminated soil because of previous Fairchild Republic aviation manufacturing uses nearby.

The land also is in a runway protection zone for Republic Airport, where airport officials try to limit density and activity.

“This is a difficult site,” Acadia’s attorney, William Bonesso, told Babylon Town’s planning board at a June 10 public hearing.

He added that the proposal was “a very good attempt to accommodate not only the town’s zoning and planning requirements” but also requirements or recommendations of state and federal agencies.

Acadia has owned the 19-acre site since 2012 and has made previous development pitches for the property, including proposed retail centers in 2016 and 2020. Before that Stew Leonard's supermarket had sought to build there. 

The retail proposals faced opposition largely due to being in a runway protection zone, which the Federal Aviation Administration established for the safety of those on the ground. However, the airport has no final say on the development of the property in question.

The contamination resulted after Fairchild in 1940 began using the property as a discharge pond for industrial processing water and stormwater runoff, according to John Salka, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

He also said in a statement that in 1997 the sump was filled with demolition debris from the company’s plant.

There are semi-volatile organic compounds in the property's shallow soils, according to the DEC, which said tests showed no groundwater contamination at the site. It is bordered by single family homes across East Carmans Road.

The DEC lists the site as a Class 2 state Superfund site, which the agency classifies as being a “significant threat to the public health or environment.” The agency, which in 2015 estimated a cleanup would cost $250 million, also recommended that year that the site be capped and monitored instead.

Acadia said the development plan includes the removal of some of the contaminated soil during construction and that the rest of the site would be capped and monitored according to a DEC plan. 

Two of the buildings in the proposed development are located in a runway’s departure path.

Republic Airport manager John Lauth submitted a letter to the town planning board asking Acadia to move or eliminate those buildings. But Acadia said the plan is not financially viable without buildings there. 

Lauth told Newsday that in May there were 772 departures on that runway.

A handful of residents who came to the June 10 hearing said Acadia has been working to accommodate community concerns but they wanted the site's contamination cleaned up, not just capped. 

Nancy Cypser, a trustee of East Farmingdale's Woodland Civic Association, noted residents used to call the site the “blue lagoon” because the sump water never froze.

“I would hope that the town, before anything starting, would help secure some funding from state and federal agencies to clean this first because people live right across the street,” she added.

The planning board is accepting comments on the proposal until June 24. The project also would need approval from the town's zoning board.

Biden has COVID . . . Atlantic Beach Bridge closure . . . Explaining Nassau transgender athlete ban Credit: Newsday

Spota released from federal prison . . . Biden diagnosed with COVID . . . Latest from the RNC . . . Senior softball game

Biden has COVID . . . Atlantic Beach Bridge closure . . . Explaining Nassau transgender athlete ban Credit: Newsday

Spota released from federal prison . . . Biden diagnosed with COVID . . . Latest from the RNC . . . Senior softball game

ONE-DAY SALE26¢ for 5 6 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME