Smithtown Town officials have been dragging Kings Park businesses into court as part of recent effort to stem the operations of illegal businesses, but there are calls for town to ramp up enforcement.
"Why are we not enforcing the town code like residents want? If you are in violation, you get a ticket. You give out a summons and police the area," Councilman Thomas McCarthy said. "That's what's not going on here."
McCarthy berated his fellow town board members and Town Attorney John Zollo to represent residents who have called for the shutdown of KPE II, Jezco, Leteri and Carlson Associates, all businesses accused of operating industrial practices against town zoning codes.
"You are breaking the law. You are sworn to uphold an oath. Every member of this board is sworn to uphold an oath. You have sworn to update the laws of Town if Smithtown. If they are breaking the law, issue the summonses," McCarthy said.
His outburst was after Supervisor Patrick Vecchio accused Carlson Associates' proposed site plans of being a “sham” in order to meet the court-imposed deadline of July 19 after they pleaded guilty to four town summonses of property maintenance in March and paid a $1,000 fine.
"They are laughing in the face of the court order. They are laughing in the face of the condition discharge. I find that to be an assault on this town board," Vecchio said.
Carlson Associates submitted an application to change the zoning of their property to heavy industrial in November. However, its public hearing before Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals was postponed until June, then left open and postponed for a second hearing in November.
The supervisor said Wednesday’s scheduled meeting and the postponed public hearing were only further delays to a case going on since 2010.
Vecchio asked Deputy Town Attorney Matthew Jakubowski about the town going back to state Supreme Court to seek an injunction to shut down Carlson Associates' illegal business practices due to their ‘delays.’
The town board's discussion on whether to take further action was held behind closed doors in an executive session.
Carlson Associates has said the three site plans were submitted in good faith to the town.
"The submission of three site plan alternatives was done to facilitate the important dialogue that is needed with Town of Smithtown Planning after three separate requests for a pre-filing meeting by Carlson Associates’ attorney went unanswered," wrote Carlson Associates in an e-mail to Patch on July 9.
A meeting is scheduled between Carlson Associates, their attorney Vincent Trimarco and Smithtown officials for Wednesday to discuss their site plan application, according to Jakubowski.
Vecchio called it a delay tactic.
"Meanwhile the illegal work goes on and goes on, and that’s very troubling to me," he said.
Zollo said he believed it would be a mistake for the town board to take further court action against Carlson Associates or other Kings Park businesses at this time. Smithtown's Public Safety department is currently stepping up action in issuing summonses to businesses violating town code, according to Zollo.
Councilman Ed Wehrheim said the town board will proceed with the course of action it decided on earlier this year.
"This board agreed, 'Let's do it step by step, rather than putting a blitz down there," Wehrheim said.
We're curious, should the town step up immediate action against businesses in violation of town code or continue taking action one step at a time?
Tell us in the comments below.