Town of Smithtown officials have blasted the preliminary findings of the Lawrence Road Study as taking a "step backwards" for suggesting 126.4 acres be zoned for industrial and outdoor storage use.
Councilman Ed Wehrheim called the findings of the Lawrence Road Study prepared by consultants Baldassano Architecture a "step backwards" for suggesting that more than 90 acres of residential land along Old Northport Road and Lawrence Road to be rezoned for Industrial Storage (IS) for industrial and outdoor storage uses, tripling the industrial use area.
"It's not worth the paper it's printed on. To recommend residential portions of Indian Head Road should be industrial is mind boggling," Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said a Tuesday work session. "It was bollixed up."
Town Board commissioned the $20,000 zoning study in July, to get a "fresh set of eyes" on an ongoing zoning issues in the Kings Park area for more than 30 years, according to Wehrheim.
Baldassano Architecture came back with 11-page study that believes the area would be best suited for industrial uses with outdoors storage, by the following types of businesses:
- Offices or medical offices;
- Light Industrial and warehouse use;
- Research and development;
- Agriculture, nursery or tree farm;
- Commercial poultry farm;
- Animal husbandry, care or training;
- Park, playground or nature preserve;
- Fitness center, gymnasium and sports facilities;
- Mini-storage warehouse, portable storage on demand;
- Wholesale businesses or distributors;
- Outdoor storage of equipment, materials or vehicles;
- Outdoor sports, ball fields and recreation;
- Non-nuisance industry.
Wehrheim said that among the suggested uses, he can find a few that he believes would be appropriate for the Lawrence Road area like a professional baseball facility, not heavy commercial industry.
Town Board, despite these reservations, have asked Smithtown's Planning Director Frank DeRubeis to review the study full and provide his own written summary, criticisms and suggestions to the town board.
"I have some serious reservations over the content of the report. It is recommending a four-fold increase the amount of industrial zoning," DeRubeis said.
However, he will wait until Baldassano submits the second half of the report, an economic and fiscal overview of what may be feasible in the area before passing judgment.
In the 11-pages the town received on Dec. 5, Baldassano has suggested the properties off Lawrence Road would not be suitable for residential development due to heavy excavation over the past several decades.
DeRubeis said he will wait to pass his final judgment and analysis until the full report is received.