Photo courtesy of Design Plus
Twenty years since the Navy gave Riverhead the Grumman’s site for economic development, the site’s promise has clearly not yet materialized. Now, the Town has moved towards subdividing the land. The Town Planning Board held a hearing on the preliminary subdivision application for the EPCAL property on 1/5/17. The hearing was closed on that date, and the hearing record was left open for 10 days for written comments. This project would subdivide 2,323.9 acres of land into 50 individual lots for a mix of uses including commercial, retail, industrial, residential, recreation, and utilities.
The Town contracted a market study and adopted a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS), in which the RNPC participated (see comments). Next, they moved onto the environmental study. The plan had a single environmental review of the entire site that would contemplate future development accurately (a tall order) so that individual plans that met the zoning the Town Board later adopted didn’t have to undergo any environmental review. This achieved the aspired-to 90-day approval cycle the Town promised to developers.
The Enterprise Park at Calverton is basically the area of the former Grumman’s property that is already in use by some businesses, which the Town hopes will be expanded and developed further. This Navy site operated by Grummans was used for over 40 years for the development, assembly, testing, refitting, and retrofitting of Naval combat aircraft. Activities pursued on the property during that period included operation of paint shops, machine shops, vehicle maintenance shops, pest control shops, battery shops, print shops, electrical shops, boiler plants, wash racks, fire-fighter training; and the degreasing and storage of oil and chemicals. Unfortunately many of these uses contaminated the site and the Navy is still working on a remediation project that has continued over the years with input from the community.