C:\pine barrens folder\commission\summary\2003 summaries\su030529_final.pdf
Commission Meeting Summary (FINAL)
for Thursday, May 29, 2003 (Approved 6/18/03)
3525 Sunrise Highway, 2nd Floor; Great River
Commission members present: Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County), Ms. Prusinowski and
Ms. Compitello (for Brookhaven), Mr. MacLellan, Mr. Hanley and Mr. Roseman(for Riverhead; Mr. MacLellan voting), and Mr. Murphree (for Southampton).
Others present: Counsel included Mr. Rigano (from Certilman Balin) and Mr. Spiegel
(from the NYS Attorney General’s Office). Staff members from the Commissionand other agencies included Mr. Corwin, Ms. Trezza, Ms. Carter, Mr. Randolph,Mr. Born and Ms. Longo (from the Commission), Mr. Pavacic (from the NYSDepartment of Environmental Conservation, NYS DEC), Mr. Laton (from theSuffolk County Parks Department and Vice Chair of the Law EnforcementCouncil, and Mr. Williams and Mr. Wolfgang (from the NYS Department of
Transportation, NYS DOT). Additional attendees are shown on the attachedsign-in sheet.
The meeting was called to order at approximately 9:58 am by Mr. Proios, with a fourmember quorum.
Summary: Mr. Proios asked everyone in the room to identify
Public Comment (All public comment dealt with the concert proposal.)
Core Preservation Area and Compatible Growth Area
! Calverton concert series / Calverton (Riverhead): discussion and
determination of jurisdiction (from 5/21/03 meeting)Summary: First, Mr. Pavacic from the NYS DEC read the attachedstatement from his agency. The statement notes, in part, that NYS DECdoes not believe that an appropriate review under the StateEnvironmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) has been conducted withrespect to the potential environmental impacts on the event site as wellas the area which surrounds the site. The statement also notes that theNYS DEC believes that the proposed event is a Type 1 action under the
SEQRA regulations, and concludes with the statement that an assertion
of jurisdiction by the Commission would provide for a complete and
comprehensive SEQRA review of the proposed project.
Second, Mr. Alan Stadler, representing the Ridge Civic Association andthe Long Island Sierra Club, read the attached statement, which
expresses several concerns, including, in part, the zoning of the
property being inappropriate; the adequacy of the law enforcementplans for the event; deer problems that the event will cause; thecareless planning that the statement asserts went into the event; theimpacts of the event upon the operations of the nearby NationalCemetery; the traffic, pollution, and crime aspects of the proposedevent; the impacts upon local roads of concert attendees trying to avoid
FINAL Commission Meeting Summary for 5/29/03 (Approved 6/18/03) - Page 1
main road traffic jams; the inappropriateness of this concert at a time of concern aboutterrorism; the types and amount of litter that will be generated and who will pay for thecleanup; the proximity of the concert site to Brookhaven National Laboratory; the existingconstruction on NYS Route 25 at the William Floyd Parkway; and the impacts of lightpollution.
Third, Mr. Richard Amper, representing the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, read theattached statement. The statement noted, in part, that the Society believes that theproposed concert is a threat to the environment and to the health and safety of theresidents of the area; that the Commission must defend the ecosystem from degradation;that the County’s recent denial of a mass gathering permit is irrelevant to theCommission’s actions; that the project area must be all of that portion of the Central PineBarrens which would be impacted, and that would include lands both in the CGA as wellas the Core, and lands both inside the Calverton site fence as well as outside; that theconcert will generate a significant increase in intensity of use in the surrounding areas;that the project is a Development of Regional Significance (DRS) because of the trafficimpacts; that the Society disagrees that the action is exempt from the Commission’sjurisdiction; that the concerts proposed are not in compliance with the Calverton ReusePlan; that the concerts are not public improvements; that the action within the fence isitself a DRS; that the concerts do not conform with the requirements of the 1995 CentralPine Barrens Plan Findings Statement; that the concert will pose a danger to specificspecies and habitats; that the real action here involves several concerts over severaldays; that the concert promoter is responsible for obtaining all necessary permits and forcomplying with SEQRA; and that the Commission should disapprove the project.
Mr. Proios then read a portion of the Central Pine Barrens Plan Findings Statement asfollows:
“The Plan provides that the redevelopment activity in the CGA contemplated forthe Calverton site is considered a public improvement and shall in no instance beconsidered a development of regional significance as defined by the Act, so as towarrant an automatic review by the Commission. Therefore, those developmentactivities on the Calverton site which conform to both the development standardsfor the CGA as well as those zoning ordinances enacted by the Town ofRiverhead to implement the Plan, which are deemed to be consistent with thePlan by the Commission, shall be presumed not to require formal review orconsideration of the Commission.”
Mr. MacLellan then stated that the Calverton project is not a DRS, and that the Town hasa letter from several years ago from Mr. Rigano as Commission Counsel which reiteratesthat the Calverton site activities are exempt. Mr. MacLellan then introduced Mr. ChrisKent, the attorney representing the concert promoter, and Mr. Jeffrey Seeman, anenvironmental consultant for the project sponsor.
Mr. Kent described some of the logistical details of the proposed concert, including itsoperating hours, set up and arrival times; the restrictions upon campers versus dayattendees; the estimated number of vehicles based upon a combination of ticket sales todate and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ (SCDHS) estimate ofnumbers of people likely to be in each vehicle; and the estimates of the numbers of ticketsthat are likely to be sold, broken down into campers and day attendees. Some of theestimates included 20,000 day attendees, and 23,000 campers. He noted that amaximum ticket sales number of 60,000 was originally proposed for planning purposes. He also discussed the late evening and early morning times at which day attendees wouldbe exiting the site, and the reduction of traffic impacts due to those times. He noted that
FINAL Commission Meeting Summary for 5/29/03 (Approved 6/18/03) - Page 2
the concert promoter has provided for a public water supply connection with theRiverhead Water District.
He also showed some of the planning documents that have been generated, including aFull Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), submitted on 4/10/03 to the Town Board;and a Supplemental EAF provided on 5/19/03 to the Town Board. Mr. Kent also notedthat the sponsor has received comments from both the Town Board and the SCDHS andhave addressed those as well. He noted that the project still requires a Chapter 90 permitfrom Riverhead Town and a Mass Gathering Permit from the SCDHS. He explained thata final walk through of the concert site is scheduled for 48 hours prior to the event. Mr.
Kent expressed the opinion that the County’s recent denial of the Mass Gathering Permitwas premature, and he noted that the sponsor has asked the County to reconsider thematter.
Mr. Kent showed the Event Operations Plan to the Commission, but indicated that itcontained sensitive information and that he therefore could not leave the document withthe Commission, but would provide access to it. He noted some of the law enforcementagencies and officials with whom the sponsor has been working.
Mr. Kent then described the relevant Town Code and pine barrens provisions with whichthe sponsor is dealing, including the definition of a DRS in the Pine Barrens Plan, theCalverton Redevelopment Plan, and Section 9.2 of the Pine Barrens Plan whichaddresses the status of the Calverton site activities under the pine barrens law. He notedthat the Town Board required an economic impact study, which was completed andsubmitted to the Town (a copy of which is attached). He noted that the study estimatesthat there will be an impact of approximately $5 million, that there will be approximately224 full time equivalent jobs for the event, and that approximately $700,000 will bereceived by government in the form of taxes (e.g., sales taxes).
He then distributed copies of Town Board Resolution #830 of 9/7/99 (attached) whichapproved the current zone change for the Calverton property, and discussed the variousTown requirements for the event with which they have been complying. Mr. Kent statedthat the event is a permitted activity under the Town Code, and that he does not believethat the Commission can take any action regarding the event, and that the Commissionlacks jurisdiction over it. A very brief exchange then occurred among Mr. Proios, Mr.
Kent, and Mr. Hanley over the prior Commission reviews of the site and the zoningcategory.
Mr. Seeman, the project’s environmental consultant from Coastal Environmental Corp.,noted that there is one state listed endangered species in the immediate area, and thatthere may be some other species of special concern. He then read passages from theCalverton Reuse Plan regarding the amount, and desired maintenance of, mowed areason the site; the presence of the grasshopper sparrow known to inhabit these areas; andnoted that the Calverton Reuse Plan observes that the impacts of not mowing are greaterthan those of mowing, with respect to this species. He also discussed the project’sobservance of the NYS DEC rule regarding leaving at least 50% of the area within 1000feet of a tiger salamander site undisturbed; the mitigation measures that are being takenfor the concert’s environmental impacts; the role of the Pine Barrens Plan’s Chapter 5 andthe NY Natural Heritage Program in designing mitigation; and noted that mowing occurredon the site prior to this proposal.
Mr. Kent then introduced Mr. Chuck Manning, of Creighton Manning Engineering, thetraffic consultant for the concert. Mr. Manning noted that the transportation plan for the
FINAL Commission Meeting Summary for 5/29/03 (Approved 6/18/03) - Page 3
project continues to evolve; that there is a public transit component which consists ofarrangements with the Long Island Railroad and the Montauk Bus Company to provideservice between the Ronkonkoma Railroad station and the site; that the sponsorsubmitted a traffic plan and permit application to the NYS DOT on 5/5/03, receivedcomments from NYS DOT on 5/15/03, and forwarded a response to NYS DOT on5/22/03; that the traffic plan is to be dynamic; that the Long Island Expressway’s Exits 68and 69 are the primary exits for access to the site, with Exit 71 being a third alternative;and that there will be message signs and cooperation with local radio stations.
Mr. Manning noted that his firm did the traffic planning for the 1994 and 1999 Woodstockmusic festivals; that there will be variable message signs used to direct traffic to specificexits; and that the plan at present is designed for 5,000 vehicles for camping and 11,000vehicles for day trips. A discussion ensued regarding the traffic quantities and patterns;the coordination of signs and the involvement of radio stations; the involvement to date ofthe NYS DOT and the Riverhead Police Department; the levels of service that are likely tooccur; and Mr. Manning’s observation that they are not designing for the worst case trafficservice levels that might occur at some point(s) during the event.
Mr. Rigano then asked several questions on behalf of the Commission. His questions,and the ensuing discussions, touched upon the exact location of the project on the site (adiscussion assisted by several aerial photographs and project maps); the inspection ofvehicles entering the site and any ensuing traffic impacts from that; the quantity ofsecurity personnel from various organizations, including the approximately 200 privatesecurity guards being hired for the event; the lack of review of the relevant portions of theproject plan by the Suffolk County and New York State Police; the remediation that wouldoccur following the event; the extent of police coverage; the use of pesticides, includingpermethrin, on the site; species of special concern, including the grasshopper sparrow;the presence of sensitive habitats on the south side of Grumman Boulevard, outside theexisting Calverton fence; and the need for police patrols of those public and conservationlands during the event.
Other questions which arose included the number and location of emergency operationscenters; the agencies which have been invited to staff those centers; and the currentstatus and extent of the pending permits from the NYS DOT. The lack of a NYS DOTrepresentative being included in the emergency planning was noted, and Mr. MacLellanasked that the concert sponsor correct that immediately. Mr. Laton, the Security Directorfor the Suffolk County Parks Department, was asked about the SC Park Policeparticipation, and Mr. Laton noted that the SC Park Police will have their normal numbersof officers on duty during the event, but that they have limited resources and cannotincrease their patrols.
Mr. Amper of the LI Pine Barrens Society then spoke noting the following: that thesponsor has painted a “family” picture of the event by focusing on the activities within thefence; that the “project site” includes the areas outside the fence that will be impacted;that the security of the Core area is important; that there will be queuing at the gate due toinspections; that there are ponds within minutes of the concert area; that the security planshould have been shared with other law enforcement agencies; that the Riverhead Policewill be unable to handle the event themselves; that he heard the traffic consultant say thatthere will be times when the traffic impacts are at Level D or worse; that this is anenormous increase in intensity of use for a temporary event; that the impacts cannot beconfined to the site; that there are problems with the CGA clearing standards at the site;and that the Commission must understand its legal obligations to protect the pine barrens.
FINAL Commission Meeting Summary for 5/29/03 (Approved 6/18/03) - Page 4
Summary: A motion was made by Mr. MacLellan and seconded by Mr. Murphree to
enter into a closed advisory session for the purpose of receiving legal advice from
counsel. The motion was approved by a 4-0 vote, and the Commission entered into
closed session from approximately 1:10 pm to 3:27 pm.
Core Preservation Area and Compatible Growth Area
! Calverton concert series / Calverton (Riverhead): discussion and determination of jurisdiction
(from 5/21/03 meeting)
Summary: A motion was made by Mr. Proios and seconded by Ms. Compitello to
adopt the following resolution:
“Whereas, a music festival known as the Field Day Music Festival is
scheduled for June 6 to 8, 2003 at the Enterprise Park at Calverton, Town of
Whereas, the Commission is concerned about possible impacts to the Core
Preservation Area, and
Whereas, the Commission wishes to further review the possible impacts to
the Core Preservation Area, and
Whereas, a meeting of the Commission was held on May 29, 2003 to
evaluate the music festival,
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, pursuant to NY Environmental Conservation Law Section 57-
0123(2)(a), the Commission asserts review jurisdiction over the
Field Day Music Festival scheduled for June 6 to 8, 2003 at the
Enterprise Park at Calverton, Town of Riverhead with respect to
impacts on the Core Preservation Area and schedules a meeting of
the Commission on June 5, 2003 at Riverhead Town Hall at 9:30 a.m.
to further review the potential impact on the Core Preservation Area
and possible methods to mitigate any impacts on the Core
Preservation Area and
Resolved, that the Commission is not asserting jurisdiction with respect to
the activity associated with the Field Day Music Festival on the
grounds of the Enterprise Park at Calverton located within the
Compatible Growth Area.”
The motion was approved by a 4-0 vote.
Mr. Proios then noted that the Riverhead Town Board will meet on 6/3/03 and that theconcert will be part of that agenda. He also noted that the Commission will receiveSEQRA information from the Town as soon as possible.
Summary: A motion was made by Mr. MacLellan and seconded by Ms. Compitello
FINAL Commission Meeting Summary for 5/29/03 (Approved 6/18/03) - Page 5
to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved by a 4-0 vote, and the meeting
ended at approximately 3:32 pm.
Attachments (in order of discussion):
1. Attendance sheet (5/29/03; 2 pages)2. Speaker sign in sheet (5/29/03; 1 page)3. Statement by Mr. Pavacic of NYS DEC re Field Day Concert project (5/29/03; 2 pages)4. Statement by Mr. Stadler of Ridge Civic Association re Field Day concert (5/29/03; 2 pages)5. Memo to Commission from LI Pine Barrens Society re Field Day concert (5/29/03; 3 pages)6. Environmental Assessment Form Part 1 for Field Day concert (4/10/03; 4 pages)7. Economic Analysis of Field Day Event by Conoscenti & Associates (April 2003; 11 pages)8. Riverhead Town Resolution #830 of 1999 approving Calverton zoning (9/7/99; 5 pages)
FINAL Commission Meeting Summary for 5/29/03 (Approved 6/18/03) - Page 6
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