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EAC Riverhead Has an Update on the


Change.org Petition: Oppose the


inclusion of 1,050 vulnerable acres in


the EPCAL property sale



3,648 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!


Here's the updated petition information:


SAVE 1,050 acres of grasslands, wetlands & forest-
Veterans Memorial Trail, Calverton, NY!

Over the years, many of us have voiced our concerns regarding the sensitive habitat areas within the old Grumman site referred to as EPCAL in Calverton, NY. We can all agree on welcoming meaningful job development within an appropriate scope that still allows for quality of life on Long Island and the East End. However, we are joining together to make it known that we are against the inclusion of approximately 1,050 acres within the current, potential sale at EPCAL. We further disagree with any plans to develop or relocate any of these vulnerable acres that the 2016 Environmental Impact Review determined as critical, sensitive habitat as per previous SEQR, DEC and DSGEIS efforts. It has long been on record that 596.4 acres of grassland and 787.3 acres of existing woodland should be considered as “non-developable” and thus the property had only been marketed as the designated developable 600 acres.

The EPCAL property is incredibly unique in that it includes regulated wetlands, land within the Peconic River Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System (WSRRC) corridor and Pine Barrens. As such, areas within EPCAL offer protection to a variety of species such as tiger salamanders and the endangered short-eared owl, the upland sandpiper, breeding and foraging grounds for threatened species such as the northern harrier plus this land is also imperative for Suffolk County’s water and air quality. Suffolk was recently determined as having the worst water quality, worst air quality and highest taxes in New York. We are writing to say that we will not risk losing any more land that was designated as “non-developable” and therefore important to our well-being on Long Island.

We adamantly disagree with the decision to include these vulnerable 1,050 acres in the current sale at EPCAL. As a collective, we believe that the ten kettle hole lakes and several vernal ponds, the last largest tract of native, undisturbed grasslands in the state along with diverse woodlands that include core Pine Barrens should be protected in perpetuity. By excluding this land from the sale, decision makers could ensure that this land remains an important natural resource and respite for rare wildlife viewing. The recently completed and highly utilized Vietnam Veterans Memorial Recreation Trail that runs along the border of EPCAL also deserves the respect of thoughtful development. We are therefore URGING Riverhead Town Board members to insist that the contract NOT go forward without restoring the “non-developable” acres to town control for preservation.


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Read and sign the petition at Change.org


Copy and paste the link below in your browser.


http://chng.it/6PKT2ZfRdX

Read and sign the petition at Change.org


Copy and paste the link below in your browser.


https://www.change.org/p/riverhead-town-board-oppose-the-inclusion-of-1-050-vulnerable-acres-in-the-epcal-property-sale

EPCAL Update and Petition to Save


1000+ Acres from EPCAL Deal



Dear RNPC Members and Friends,

The final stages of this long and tragic saga of our Town giving away 1643 acres of pristine land, at the old Grumman site in Calverton, known as EPCAL, to a developer named CAT (Calverton Aviation and Technology), are upon us.

In the Spring of 2017, the existing Town Board agreed to sell about 640 acres of this land to Daniel Preston, owner of Luminati Aerospace, for $40 million (to put this in perspective, this amount is less than one half of the Town's annual budget).  Then the situation became more mysterious and questionable.  At the end of 2017, we learned that Luminati had partnered with Triple 5, a Canadian-based mega-mall developer to form the new company, CAT.  It was also announced, without public input or comment, that another 1000+ acres was added to the deal without raising the price.  Now, over two years later, the current Town Board is in final fact-finding negotiations with CAT to possibly approve a new subdivision of the property and finalize the contract of sale

Over the years, many of us have voiced our concerns regarding this bad deal for the Town as well as  the need for better protection of the sensitive habitat areas within the old Grumman site.  We can all agree on welcoming meaningful job development within an appropriate scope that still allows for quality of life on Long Island and the East End.  However, we still do not know what the purchaser is planning to do with the site and how they are going to finance that work.  We are also against the inclusion of over 1,000+ habitat protection acres within the current deal.  It has long been on record that these acres should be considered as "non-developable" and thus the property had previously only been marketed as the designated developable 600 acres.  Why is it now included in this deal?

If you are troubled by the potential sale of the Town's valuable asset at EPCAL, there are several actions you can take.  First, you can sign the petition against the inclusion of the 1000 acres in the EPCAL sale.  This is the link to sign on: http://chng.it/ybVGhSZ9

Second, you can join your fellow citizens at the Town Board meeting this Wednesday night at 6pm.  You should make your voice heard now, before it is too late.

Third, call or write to Town Board members and voice your concerns.  Email addresses and phone numbers are available at the Town website.

Together we are stronger.

Thank You,
 Phil Barbato
 Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition  

PO Box 413
Jamesport, NY  11947

RNPC MISSION:  To preserve the quality of life in residential neighborhoods throughout Riverhead as well as the rural atmosphere of our Town by advocating for the protection of residential areas, open spaces and agricultural areas against uses and expansion that would negatively impact the residences and businesses in these areas and violate the letter and intent of the Riverhead Master Plan.





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Sign the EPCAL Online Petition Now!



Read and sign the online petition against the inclusion of 1,050 vulnerable acres in the EPCAL sale.  The previous Town Supervisor added as a "bonus", 1,050 acres of sensitive habitat that was never meant for development to the original deal of about 600 acres with Daniel Preston's, Luminati Aerospace without any discussion with the Town's residents.


Attend the Oct 16th Town Board meeting and voice your objection if this giveaway of 1,050 pristine acres that include a vernal pond, multiple areas of existing wetlands composed of ponds with Tiger Salamander buffers, old-growth trees, Pitch Pine plantations, and 100s of acres of rare grasslands sounds like a terrible idea to you.


A large turnout of residents at Town Hall on October 16th will show the strength of support in the community for the town retaining ownership of the 1,050 acres of non-developable land to preserve as beautiful Town park for the community.


Our Town is about to sell most of the Town's land at the old Grumman property in Calverton, known at EPCAL.  That's 1,643 acres for $40 million, or about $24,345 for each acre.























Existing Habitat























Aerial View



If you are interested in more detailed information and background on the history of the EPCAL property, the EPCAL vote, the EPCAL sale negoitation and the corresponding efforts of the community civics, click on the links below right of the top photo. Or go to the top menu under EPCAL Update to visit each area of interest.



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WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS EPCAL DEAL?



Our Town is about to sell most of your land at the old Grumman property in Calverton, known at EPCAL.  That's 1,643 acres for $40 million, or about $24,345 for each acre.  A giveaway price.  

   

How far would this $40 million go? 


Well, that amount would cover the Town's budget for a grand total of 149 days, and then it would be gone. 

 

Who is the lucky buyer? 


A Canadian mega-mall developer, T5, has partnered with Daniel Preston's, Luminati Aerospace, in order to scoop up this deal. Their history is fraught with misrepresentation, unscrupulous activities, and lack of integrity.


What are their plans? 


Grand promises for economic development led by Preston's Luminati.  But wait -- Preston has abandoned his operation at EPCAL and fled upstate without paying his bills.  And these empty promises are just not backed up with a single financial guarantee in the contract.  There are no consequences if they produce nothing.


Will this sale lower your taxes? 


Not likely as they plan to apply for every possible tax exemption.
 
    

What can you do?  


Check out the excellent reporting in the Riverhead Local and Riverhead News Review, on the purchasers' past history and misdeeds and the weaknesses in the contract. If this deal sounds terrible to you, contact your Town Board members at 631-727-3200.  They need to hear from you. (Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, and Town Board Members: James Wooten, Jodi Giglio, Catherine Kent, Tim Hubbard)


Tell them this isn't even close to the best we can do. 


There is so much more potential for this land to provide a long-range and steady tax base and a beautifully preserved Town park.  Rejecting this badly flawed deal would open the door to better proposals and more certain outcomes.



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Free, Family-friendly Community Walk


@ EPCAL Saturday, April 27th at 2pm




For all our neighbors -- strollers, bicycles, all ages and abilities welcome!

Come see what we are at risk of losing if this land is sold ... join us for a guided walk along the Veterans Bike Path to celebrate Earth Day and see our vulnerable backyard.

We will gather at the bike path’s 8 milemarker trailhead just West of Line Road -- across from Prestons Pond (GPS 601 Grumman Blvd. Calverton) for a shy mile adventure past a vernal pond, old-growth trees and rare grasslands.

All also welcome at 1 pm at Bean and Bagel (4426 Middle Country Rd, Calverton) for Meet
and Greet beforehand.


Please use tick precautions (although we will be on pavement) and carry in/carry out any belongings. If more than a drizzle -- all details the same for 4/28. For more information: EPCALwatch@gmail.com  

A PDF of a flyer (see right) for the April 27 EPCAL walk is available for download, please click here.  Please print it and distribute copies at any meetings you attend in the next couple of weeks.  And post it wherever you have access to a visible location.

The flyer is also available on line at the address below.  Please send this link through every mailing list, web site, etc. to which you have access.  http://tinyurl.com/EPCAL2019

A large turnout will show the strength of support in the community for the town retaining ownership of the 1,050 acres of non-developable land.



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For more detailed information and background on the history of the EPCAL property, the EPCAL vote, the EPCAL sale negoitations and the efforts of the community civics, click on the links below the top photo. Or go to the top menu to visit each area of interest.