March 29, 2006

Approved: Burman's Subdivision

Last Thursday night, the Riverhead Planning Board approved developer Jan Burman's subdivision request for property he owns at Enterprise Park at Calverton. The move paves the way for long-awaited industrial development at the site — the 429-acre subdivision petition has been pending for nearly six years.

"All I have to say," said Councilman Ed Densieski, "is thank God that this has finally happened."

Riverhead Supervisor Phil Cardinale expressed similar sentiments: "I am delighted that this is finished because now more than two million square feet of buildings can be built."

And already, said Cardinale, the town's planning department is in receipt of a site plan application for seven 30,000-square-foot buildings. "That is real development," said Cardinale. "Almost 10% of what is expected to be built."

Another positive, said Cardinale, is that existing businesses at the site that are located in former Grumman buildings can now be brought into compliance. Prior to the approval of Burman's subdivision, there was no mechanism for the businesses to expand or improve the buildings they are located in without being in breach of the town code.

"The subdivision approval will make it a lot easier for them," said Cardinale.

To obtain the subdivision approval, Burman did have to comply with several conditions. Those included conditions that required Burman to supply insurance bonds to the town for improvements to the site and to obtain approval stamps from the Suffolk County Health Department and Department of Environmental Conservation.

Burman has had a preliminary approval for his subdivision since 2003; however, he hit a wall when the DEC discovered the existence of a Tiger Salamander breeding ground on his property. Since Tiger Salamander are an endangered species, Peter Scully, regional director of the DEC said a new subdivision map was necessary to protect the lizards.

A re-mapping commenced and it wasn't until recently that all involved agreed on a change that moved a Wild, Scenic, River Act boundary to the north of Burman's property, making room for Burman's subdivision while protecting the Tiger Salamander.

The subdivision approval will allow Burman to create an industrial park on his property. As previously reported, most of the lots Burman will create through the subdivision are already spoken for, which is why the Town of Riverhead is in the process of creating its own industrial and office park on another piece of land it owns at EPCAL.

The town board is currently in the process of drafting zoning that will dictate the rules and regulations associated with developing its 600-acre industrial and office park. A public hearing on those ordinances will be held late this month.

Cardinale anticipates that once all the parks are created there will be approximately seven million square feet of industrial and office space available.

Burman did not return phone calls as of press time.

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