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Public Hearing on Heavy Industrial Zoning Changes to Be Held Despite Pleas

Smithtown officials to host public hearings on the zoning change proposal for Old Northport Road in Kings Park to be held 8 p.m. Wednesday despite multiple requests for adjournment.

Smithtown Town officials will host public hearings on despite pleas for more time. 

Employees of Town of Smithtown's Planning Department said the public hearings scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Eugene A. Cannataro Senior Citizen Center will go on as plannned despite both business owners and civic associations asking for the issues to be postponed. 

The planning department employees confirmed rumors a letter had been received this week from one of the business owners involved in the zoning changes requesting an adjournment, or the public hearing to be pushed to a later date. However, Planning Board members noted its been postponed several times and noted significant public interest as reason to hold the public hearings as planned. 

Mark Seratoff, representing the Townline Association, which represents more than 11,000 families in Commack, Kings Park, East Northport and Fort Salonga, also wrote a letter to Smithtown Planning Director Frank DeRubeis on June 1 requesting the public hearings to rezone the Carlson properties be rescheduled for at least 30 days in the future. 

"Our communities had little or no notice of this significant zoning change and the communities still need time to prepare a response," Seratoff wrote. 

In addition, the civic association leader cites he has a Toxic Targeting Report on the Carlson properties that contains data on toxic spills, illegal waste dumping, buried waste and other environmental and public safety concerns that he has not had the time to fully analyze. 

The Townline Association is one of many local civic groups who are planning to come out Wednesday night in opposition to the zoning changes. 

"Frank DeRubeis talked to us a couple of years ago to change to heavy industry and we unanimously voted to oppose and our position hasn’t changed," said Bruce Ettenberg, president of Commack Civic Association. 

He mentioned that many residents are already fighting back against the heavy trucking traffic on Townline Road, an issue that would be exacerbated by changing the Old Northport Road properties to heavy industrial zoning. 

Kings Park Civic Organization also plans to come out against the zoning change proposals as a solution to bringing these businesses into compliance with town codes.  

"The town has yet to come up with an amend that all parties can agree to. The town has been ignoring this issue," said Sean Lehmann, president of Kings Park Civic Organization. "The town needs to get on the ball and do something." 

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