First the bad news: We were unable to convince the Town Board at Thursday's work session to grant us a 60-day extension for the Public Hearing on United Riverhead Terminal's proposed expansion of a non-conforming use. We were hoping it could be delayed until the spring when people are back from their winter vacations.
But there is good news: We got Sean Walter, on record, to extend the usual 10-day write-in period after the hearing to a full 30 days. He also said they would make DVDs of the hearing for us to distribute to folks who can't make it on the 18th. If you will NOT be able to attend and you are interested in a DVD, send us a message along with your address on our contact page.
Even better, Walter and the other board members made it clear that they have definitely not decided on granting the permit and are very anxious to see what United Riverhead Terminal has come up with in terms of traffic plans. Walter repeated what he had said to me in private: He was extremely disappointed with URT's presentation.
Here is Tim Gannon's Riverhead News-Review Live Blog of what happened at the work session:
Now Neil Krupnick of the Northville Beach Civic Association is speaking on the 60-day extension request on United Riverhead Terminal's application.
The hearing has already been postponed four months at the applicant's request (Editor's note: Actually the applicant asked for 60-days but it was extended to March because the original date would have fallen during President's week). Neil says his organization spent a lot of money and effort trying to get people to the hearing, which was postponed.
Now he says people are saying they can't make the hearing in March.
"I think it's only fair that URT asked for an extension to get the answers to the questions we had. The public should be allowed to hear those answers," Neil says. Sean says they will hold the hearing open for 30 days, "but I really want to see what they have to say."
He said if they don't get the right answers, the application might not get far. Sean says he followed a URT truck, which made a left on Manor and went up to Twomey Avenue, which is not what they said they'd do, which was to use CR 105.
"I can honestly say there are people who are very passionate on this," Neil says.
"You're kidding," Wooten says facetiously. (there were a lot of people at an earlier hearing)
I also had two very productive conversations with Councilwoman Jodi Giglio and Councilman George Gabrielsen earlier in the week. Giglio is extremely concerned with truck weight on Sound Avenue and doesn't seem too happy about the increased size of trucks we are currently seeing coming in and out of the terminal. I asked her if she could extend her truck size and weight limit to include Penny's Road and Sound Shore Road. At first she didn't see a reason to but after I showed her pictures of the dangerous curve where Penny's and Sound Shore Road merge and how narrow both roads are, she seemed convinced. Hopefully she will bring this up at the hearing.
Both Giglio and Gabrielsen were both mistaken in thinking that Northville Industries in Holtsville is connected to United Riverhead Terminal. I presented articles that convinced them that Northville and URT are not only separate entities but also proved to them that URT has not been chosen to store emergency gasoline for NY State and that the expansion is purely a business decision. This definitely raised eyebrows.
I think our odds of beating this thing are increasing. Big thanks to everyone for donating (http://www.northvillebeach.org/donations.html) and for signing our petition (http://www.northvillebeach.org/petitions.html). By the way, we finally broke the 500-signature barrier. We have 463 online signatures and 46 written signatures. Let's keep it going!
For more on Thursday's work session, go here: