The Town Planning Board held a hearing on the preliminary subdivision application for the EPCAL subdivision 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 subdividing and subsequent sale of land at EPCAL has long been anticipated to provide economic development to our Town. It must be carefully and diligently implemented in order to realize this goal.
However, there is some concern that the necessary controls are not being placed on this subdivision approval. This is an unusual subdivision, in that it is not owned by a private party but, rather, by the Town of Riverhead itself. In addition, the zoning that was previously approved for this area is quite general and open-ended. Further, the infrastructure that would be required (roads, sewage, water supply, electricity, stormwater control) to support development is similarly not defined or specified, or installed. Providing this infrastructure will require significant expenditures by the Town. Permitting housing on the EPCAL site will place demands on the School District
The Planning Board members provided verbal assurances that these issues would be properly dealt with as the lots are sold over the coming years and decades. However, we believe that verbal assurances from current Town representatives will not be sufficient to ensure compliance in the future. We believe that specific written conditions must be placed on any approval of this subdivision so that they would apply to every lot as it is sold.
Photo courtesy of Design Plus