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Smithtown Zoning Board Denies Concrete Biz KPE

Board of Zoning Appeals says concrete manufacturing and related uses were always non-confirming.

Kings Park and Commack residents have won the latest fight in their ongoing battle to get heavy industry out of their backyards.

Smithtown's Board of Zoning Appeals voted to deny KPE II a certificate of existing use that would legalize its pre-cast concrete business off Old Northport Road and Lawrence Road in Kings Park on Feb. 12.

KPE II sought for a certificate to legalize 13 different industrial uses on two properties totaling 14.2 acres in Kings Parks. Among the activities the company sought permission for include pre-cast concrete and cesspool fabrication, concrete manufacturing, concrete aggregate processing, concrete and rock crushing.

An attorney representing KPE II argued these business activities have been carried out on the property since the 1950s, and the new owners – who purchased the land from Karl Karlson in 2011 – seek to continue the business.

"The applications for the certificate of the existing use are denied because pre-cast concrete cesspool manufacturing facility; concrete manufacturing plant; concrete aggregate processing center are not lawfully conforming," wrote the BZA in its Feb. 12 decision.

In their 9-page decision, BZA members trace back the history of the area to 1932 when it was zoned "B-Residence" and industrial activity wasn't allowed. It was not until 1950, the town rezoned the east side of 7.5 acres to "G-Industrial," or Light Industrial, which specifically prohibited 54 uses including "any use noxious or offensive by reason of emission of odors, dust, fumes, smoke, gas, vibration or noise."

Commack and Kings Park residents complained of noise and odor issues at the Nov. 27 public hearing on KPE II's application, claiming to hear loud booms and explosive noises at night.

Board members found that sand mining might have been the only industrial activity that could have been legally carried out on KPE II's property after zoning changes in 1953 and 1955 permitted quarries by special exception – except the former owner Karl Karlson never filed for a permit. Sand mining was made illegal by town zoning changes again in 1963.

Residents' also testified Carbro Industries, previous owners of the site until 2011, had gradually discontinued many of its manufacturing activities and never performed as much concrete crushing despite KPE's assertion business has been conducted since the 1950s. Several times, it has filed permits to rezone the land for a potential housing development.

Under town code, if the previous or current owners stop nonconforming industrial activities for more than 12 months, those activities are no longer permitted as a right.

"Overall, the neighbors' testimony was more credible than the applicant's. Conspicuously missing was live testimony from the person who allegedly conducted the business from 1972 to 2011," the BZA's decision reads. "Further, no records of sales of pre-cast produces were presented."

Aerial photos submitted by KPE starting in 2001 that showed plants were growing back over the property, indicating "the area was not being used enough to prevent nature from reclaiming it," according to the board. Later aerial pictures from 2007 and 2010 show more plant regrowth and large vacant areas.

KPE II has up to 60 days to file an appeal with state courts.

KPNY February 21, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Good article...please continue to update Kings Park residents about this area...it seems that Kings Park's dirty little secret (the illegal businesses along Old Northport rd.& Lawrence rd.) are finally getting exposed. This area is an environmental ticking time bomb!
Dave Adams February 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Was Pelkowski(sp) Pre-Cast illegal all the time that it was doing business there?
John K Massaro February 21, 2013 at 02:38 PM
This new crop of Kings Parkers have no clue, Dave. None whatsoever...
Dave Adams February 21, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Are you saying I'm OLD John...lol
John K Massaro February 21, 2013 at 06:33 PM
LoL. Nah, we're not old. Just veterans of KP. We know where this town came from...
KPNY February 21, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Not to diminish the value of past history, but where this town is going(i.e the future) is more important at this point in time. The past, although interesting, has left a big black eye on this area.The residents simply want the town to enforce it's own established codes and laws...are you suggesting that we keep allowing illegal activities because that's they way it used to be "back in the day?" BTW...I've lived here for more than 50 years!
Dave Adams February 21, 2013 at 09:11 PM
All I did was ask a question. Pelkowski was quite the illegal operation I guess.
John K Massaro February 21, 2013 at 09:42 PM
It was not, nor was any of those businesses on Old Northport (with the exception of the tire dump across from KP Ready Mix). In fact, Pelkowski was one of the largest pre-cast suppliers on the Island at one time, as was Carlson.
new guy February 22, 2013 at 03:52 AM
John that was Suffolk ready mix. Kp ready mix was on the corner of Pulaski and town line. It's now in the power crush yard. Suffolk ready mix is gone.
John K Massaro February 22, 2013 at 05:04 AM
That's right. I stand corrected.
lisa February 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Another big win for the residents of Kings Park and Commack. We must continue to be active when KPE appeals the decision and we must demand the town shut them down. Please sign our petition launched yesterday and going strong. http://www.change.org/petitions/smithtown-hall-representatives-shut-down-all-companies-that-do-not-comply-with-current-town-codes
lisa February 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Please also note that in the 1930's, 40's, 50's and 60's, the houses that you see on the map above, the ones being literally abused by these companies did not exist in those time periods. You now have a beautiful community of single family homes; families that want to have a safe and healthy community. Please sign our petition below if anyone wishes to help keep KP safe and healthy.

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