A group of Kings Park and Commack residents banded together recently to form a task group to unite residents who live near the intersection of Old Northport and Lawrence Road to stop what they say are hazardous smells and noises emitted from the nearby industrial area.
Town officials seem to agree that something does indeed stink, though they are not sure they can pipoint it. Smithtown Planning Director Frank DeRubeis has first-hand experience.
"I will acknowledge having been in that area there are odors – I acknowledge that – but where they are coming from, I don't know," DeRubeis previously said.
Lisa Inzerillo, who lives a few blocks from the industrial area, decided many voices were better than a single voice and began reaching out to her neighbors after a flyer was sent around by resident Tom Uverzagt who thought it was best that they band together. They then formed the Old Northport Lawrence Road Task Force.
The task force has put one person in charge of each block, as a “block captain” to help facilitate communication. To further that, the group has created a Facebook page.
“These are quality of life issues. Between noise and odor we cannot sit in our backyards or stand outside for more than a couple of minutes,” said Inzerillo.
Concerns in the area continue to grow as the town grapples over zoning issues and business owners seek variances and ordinance changes to allow their activities to continue.
A December study regarding future zoning of the Lawrence Road area in Kings Park reccommended a creation of a new zoning code that would triple the buildable industrial area. Town officials blasted the study with town supervisor Patrck Vecchio saying the study was "not worth the paper it was printed on". The following month town offcials backed off that claim and said the plan was worth reconsidering.
Most recently, the Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals voted to deny KPE II, an industrial area business, 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, resulting in a win for area neighbors.
The task force created a petition on Feb. 21 asking town officials to "shut down all nonconforming users/uses that do not comply with current town code."
Inzerillo said the group will be presenting it at the next Smithtown Town Hall meeting on Feb. 28 and the next Kings Park Civic Association meeting.