Something Stinks in Kings Park

Residents worried about health, quality of life due to alleged fumes coming from industrial businesses on Old Northport Road.

Kings Park residents are concerned that foul odors permeating their neighborhood are affecting their health and quality of life, and it has them sticking up their noses at local government.

“The odors have made my children, myself and visitors to my house sick. I have had vomit on my driveway due to what appears to be odor and fumes,” Laura Schaefer of Kings Park said.

Schaefer was joined by Debbie Danley, of Kings Park, in speaking out at the Smithtown Town Board meeting Tuesday, where they urged elected officials to take action. 

The controversy is centered around the industrial businesses on Old Northport Road in Kings Park – where an asphalt paving, mulching and composting and pre-casting businesses operate, each emitting their own odors.

Danley, who lives on Old Commack Road, said when the winds are blowing in the right direction, a “strong chemical odor you can taste, that fills your nose and mouth and burns” fills her residential neighborhood. 

Patch visited the area on one occassion and did not detect any odors.

Danley, mother of three children ages 13, 10 and 6 said she’s concerned about her family’s health.

“My middle son constantly complains of headaches. We’ve gone doctor to doctor and we have an MRI coming up next week.,” she said. 

Danley and Schaefer said they have reached out to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Smithtown town officials – even placed phone calls to elected officials in Albany – over the last year. But they haven’t received much help in determining where the smell is coming from or how to stop it.

Both the DEC and the Town of Smithtown have the authority to regulate the businesses on Old Northport Road, although their roles are slightly different.

Schaefer and Danley have pointed to zoning maps in the town assessor’s office that show the several industrial business – Carlson’s Pre-Cast, Pioneer Asphalt Paving, Educational Bus –  are on residentially zoned land. It’s an issue Smithtown town has been to court over.

The issue is not new. Residents as well as local civic organizations have been requesting action from the town for years in regards to proper zoning. 

In a 2008 letter to the town, the Kings Park Civic Association requested that the town address the zoning issue. An excerpt from the letter reads: "Since the town has exhausted its legal options to stop the decades of heavy industrial activity that exists in the area, it seems to be in the town’s best interests to zone and control it, rather than ignore it."

The association requested action from the town again in February 2010 asking for all property in the industrial area currently zoned as residential be rezoned to light industry, in order to establish zoning consistency and give the town the ability to regulate. (Both letters are attached to this article under photos)

A possible solution would be the creation of an overlay zone, said Kings Park Civic President Sean Lehman. An area of mixed zoning that would be more clearly defined and allow zoning enforcement.

"We hear complaints all the time," said Lehmann. "The town has not enforced the zoning and because they have not enforced the zoning for many, many years.  They have essentially lost control.

Town councilman Ed Wehrheim says that the town has been working on the concept of overlay zoning for a little longer than a year.

“If we do the overlay zoning it would give the town the ability to set conditions,” said Wehrheim.

“For example, if decide we want heavy industry then we can say this is the heavy industry and that we will allow or not allow. We may say we want 15 feet in professional landscaping or other conditions," said Wehrheim. "We don’t have that ability now."

The DEC logs and investigates complaints of “nuisance odors” reported to its hotline at (631) 444-0380. 

Aphrodite Montalvo, a spokeswoman for the DEC said she has not received any complaints about Pioneer Asphalt Paving and onlly a few directly associated with Carlson. However, the agency has recieved a total of 34 complaints about odor for the Kings Park area. 

The DEC took action against Carlson’s in 1998 for illegal mining, but the area has been cleaned up and is within regulation, according to Montalvo.

The DEC is actively investigating complaints about another business on the roadway, but Montalvo would not identify which company.

It’s this type of action that Schaefer said she wants to see, stating she’s been fighting for a solution since she purchased her home in 2004. Yet she claims phone calls and visits to Supervisor Patrick Vecchio’s office have gone unanswered.

anonymous January 09, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I am having a hard time opening the PDF's or posting new PDF's. I would urge anyone with concerns to look online. Clemson University, Ohio State University, Cornell University or check out http://www.freeplants.com/free-article-toxic-mulch.htm , all of these studies discuss the toxins, fungi and other concerns regarding mulch. One thing to remember is we are not discussing mulch in your garden beds at home, the concern is with big piles of mulch at facilties that make, store, spray and distribute mulch. The universities studies have experts to analize and draw conclusions. While I haven't been able to open the PDF's it looks like what is posted are letters from the Civic Assocaition along with literature on sprayed mulch., Hopefully I can get the scientific studies posted.
KPLifer January 09, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I here there are some homes for sale near the airport.
anonymous January 09, 2012 at 06:40 PM
You mean......you hear not here. Funny just not educated ;)
John Massaro February 22, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I think the only thing that really stinks in KP these days is the bad breath coming out of the mouths of the crying yuppy NIMBYS that seem to have taken over my beloved hometown...
KPLifer February 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM
This stuff was here long before most of the homes.....
anonymous February 23, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Maybe if the businesses that us "NIMBYS" are referring to were paying correct property taxes you could return to your beloved Kings Park, the town you were priced out of. Lucky for me, I bought long before you and am able to sustain my property. How the tax issue doesn't enrage fellow tax payers is beyond me. Blue collar workers are paying $10,000 ++ in property taxes and these businesses who set up shop illegally on RESIDENTAL PROPERY----- after, I repeat after, I bought my home is crazy are payinG A 1/10TH of what homeowners are paying! They're paying taxes on land based on Residential Vacant Zoning. They/re making huge profits & not helping OUR beloved town! Additionally, the Town of Smithtown doesn't allow for the production of mulch within the town nor do they allow the collection of solid waster! Businesses are disregarding the laws &the town is wasting time & $ fighting their illegally activity. I don't believe there has been one complaint against legal businesses who have permits and are properly zoned and regulated. The issue is with a few land owners who find creative ways to get around the system and care only about their own pockets. The KP I have known and loved is far from a "What's In It For Me Town". We are a town that takes care of our own. We work together to ensure our community is the very best it can be! I am proud to be in this town and will always stand up for what is right and I am so grateful that MOST of my fellow community members are the same way!
anonymous February 23, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Maybe so but plenty of us were here before them...... to bad for us, I guess?!?
Tina S. March 23, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Smoking and second hand smoke can make you sick too.
Anonymous May 16, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Hey John, Where do you think cancer comes from? Might it be possible that some of the unexplained cancer is due to government bending over for business at the expense of its citizens? They allow pollution, don't require cleanups, take campaign contributions to let them do what they want. It happens all over the country and this is a surprise to you? Industry has more lobbyists and $$ than regular residents so guess who suffers? Have you ever even thought about all the chemicals you are eating if you buy potatoes at a supermarket? Yet almost every American shoves fries down their throat every day even though they are laced with pesticides. Probably another source of cancer, as well as the nitrates put in coldcuts (Boars Head one of the few that doesn't). Wake up or shut up - you don't live there anymore so why do you have to give the ones that do a hard time for protecting their families and health? Seriously . . . get a life or a clue!
John from Kings Park May 16, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Here's an idea "Anonymous". Until you grow the courage to post with your real name & not hide behind a phony profile like the low-watty coward that you are, perhaps you should keep your big trap shut...
anonymous May 16, 2012 at 06:52 PM
There is a meeting tomorrow nights, the concerned residents of the area are now being represented by attorneys and a class action suit has been started. It doesn't matter who was here first, all residents have a right to maintain their property value, protect their quality of life and their health. Anyone effected is welcome to meet with us tomorrow night, 7 p.m., Sheraton Long Island, 110 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge. And yes, many of the businesses have been here longer then alot of residents, but not me or my family. What they are doing is illegal, they have a long list of summons' from the town, they are out of compliance and they are affecting our quality of life. The case must be decent for a lawyer to take it probono and fly in from across the country to meet with us!
John from Kings Park May 16, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Notice how he brings up "property values" first & foremost? Not health concerns, not concerns for the future. Just make sure you cry enough that your home don't lose any value! N...I...M...B...Y...
jimmybrown May 16, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Dumps here for years upon years.....are parents lived...so will we!
Theo May 22, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Mulch is made by composting. There are no chemicals added. Tell the DEC to speak with Mother Nature about the natural odors from composting!
new guy May 22, 2012 at 04:13 PM
theo, dont know if your aware but powercrush uses a dye on the mulch. i'm not sure what it is but it would be something to look into.
Anonymous May 30, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Not the same person John! Hey John - since you don't live in KP anymore, were an ahole when you did live there, and still are and have no care to be on this board except insult the people that actually care about the town, why don't you shut your f'n trap. It has been shut up before, and I know plenty that would love to shut it up again. Anyone that knows you realizes they are dealing with the king of cowards.
susan r May 31, 2012 at 09:56 AM
IF you think the situation is bad now JUST WAIT - now they want to put in a power plant!!!!!! They want to change some of the zoning to heavy industrial because there is a company that wants to put in a power plant in again (carlson/ferino property.) There is a town meeting on June 6th at the senior center in smithtown 8pm to make a decision if the zoning should be changed. If you are not happy now - you better show up and let the town know ENOUGH IT ENOUGH!! Otherwise, our newest neighbor is a brand spanking new power plant!!!
Racquel Bently June 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
That's the problem! It's not a business district, It's residential land. They should be arrested as would a homeowner if they started doing business in their backyard!!!
new guy June 12, 2012 at 06:58 PM
racquel, that property is a combination of about 12 different plots. some are residential, not all. dont missunderstand my post, i dont approve of the usage right now either.
new guy June 15, 2012 at 02:12 PM
thanks john....i'm your beloved? you sure make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
GLENN July 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM
GLENN July 26, 2012 at 11:46 PM
THANK YOU SUSAN, get the word out about the meeting. These liars are desperate to make this work, they don't care about this area they don't have that kind of intelligent's they don't realize for each town you pollute and ruin it that many more people that move away and you ruin the soil forever. They think it's a game and they want to win.
GLENN July 26, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Hey anonymous, don't waste your time with John he is just another idiot that only cares about where he lives. John doesn't understand when you ruin one town all the towns get effected customers move away. A boycott of these companies on Town line rd. is a good idea......
GLENN July 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM
did they die of cancer? what was the quality of life? jimmy brown or what ever your name really is the chemicals have ruined your ability to think clearly.....please no more dumb comments!
GLENN July 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
not a accurate statement, most of these business are operating under wrong zoning. That will end soon!
GLENN July 26, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Karma is a bi**h..and you have some coming......what you give you will get. think this is funny..ok one day when you get a nuisance in your neighborhood remember you gave now you will get!
GLENN July 26, 2012 at 11:59 PM
suck it up..have fun with your cancer DX....suck it up ..Karma will get you....you don't live here but even working here you are exposed to it so you will suck it up to one day....Karma baby Karma......
Casey October 22, 2012 at 10:58 PM
It is a covanta energy plant burning smithtown's and Huntington's garbage.
lisa December 12, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Debbie, You are exactly right. I have lived here for 10 years, 2 blocks from the fill. I knew it was there when I moved in. I didn't care of it looking all snappy, I didn't care about the trucks... it wasn't until the past few months (at least for me) that there has been something in the air that when you inhale it immediately burns your throat and tongue which continues to burn even though you brush your teeth again. Our eyes tear so bad, and today I was violently ill as the gasses came into my house. I do not understand how anyone on this thread can say "it's ok" or "it's your problem" - and it is sad to think they are residents that supposedly care about the town. Well I care about the town and I care about my children who have been sick over these gases. It is not right. I do not mind the landfill being there, I mind that my children are sick because of what is going on there. It has been the worst ever. If you would like to join forces, I was thinking of some ideas, email Jennifer Sloat and ask how we can share email and phone contacts.
lisa January 08, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Toxic Odor is back. my children are sick..... Attend KPCA meeting if you want to help rid this company from our town. Thursday - 7:30 PM [Where] Kings Park High School community room. Rm. 101 Topics include the latest developments on the "Hightower Homes", the Kings Park Industrial Area and the Uplands Housing Project.


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