Smithtown officials are reconsidering whether their first criticisms of the Lawrence Road Study for the so-called Kings Park industrial area were too harsh as they look at drafting new industrial zoning code for the area.
Frank DeRubeis, Smithtown's Planning Director, recommended moving forward with the Lawrence Road Study's suggestion of creating a new hybrid zoning code between light industrial and heavy industrial for the properties between Lawrence Road and Old Northport Road in Kings Park at a Tuesday's town board work session.
"The issue we would have to work out within the category of industrial zoning the essence of what you can do outside and whether it is accept to community or not acceptable," DeRubeis said.
Several town boad members had completed by Baldassano Architecture, as a "step backwards" in December, for suggesting 126.4 acres along Lawrence Road be rezoned for industrial and outdoor storage use. It's a move that would triple the existing industrial area.
Baldassano Architecture recommended 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.
DeRubeis and Town councilman Ed Wehrheim said they will review the above list of suggestions, as some uses like athletic fields might be accepted by local residents, where others may not.
Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said he still feared drafting a new hybrid industrial zoning would create more problems between residents and local business owners.
"If you make a hybrid zoning, you will only intensify the zoning, the smells possibly and the noise would increase," Vecchio said.
Howeverr, Town attorney John Zollo said drafting a new hybrid industrial zoning code may give the town board a way to enforce zoning regulations on those businesses currently operating illegally in the area.
"We would have a tool or vehicle to seek zoning enforcement as this is a category they can look to be in compliance with," Zollo said.
Even if a new zoning code is drafted, Vecchio said he is against the study's suggestion that current residential properties in the area being rezoned industrial. He was supposed by Wehrheim and DeRubeis.
DeRubeis is expected to draft a new hybrid zoning code between light and heavy industry based on the study's recommendations and present it to town board over the new few months.