Contested Suffolk County landfill partially rezoned for industrial use

Some Brookhaven residents called for area to remain zoned for residential

Brookhaven landfill partially rezoned for industrial use
Landfill (iStock)

Some neighbors of a landfill in Suffolk County are likely feeling down in the dumps after a town board vote rezoned the property despite their opposition.

Brookhaven’s town board unanimously voted to rezone more than 130 acres of the landfill, Newsday reported. The partial rezoning changes the site — located at the northwest corner of Horseblock Road and Sunrise Highway — from residential to industrial use.

The site is next to the town’s 270-acre landfill, according to Newsday. The rezoned site has been used for composting and waste management, but was considered to be inappropriate for residential use, according to town officials.

“That parcel is not appropriately zoned as residential,” council member Jonathan Kornreich told Newsday, adding that he wanted to preserve the “environmental value” of the property.

Residents pushed back against the rezoning during a public hearing that took place back in July. Some residents believed the residential zoning could help spur the end of foul odors and noises associated with the landfill, issues that could potentially persist under industrial zoning.

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The rezoning would have allowed uses including corporate parks. Other uses, such as schools and houses of worship, would be prohibited unless six of seven town board members approved.

Prior to the rezoning, town officials looked at the possibility of putting a 121-acre ash landfill on the property. That plan was scrapped in March, however, due to heavy opposition from residents and environmental activists, as well as rising costs.

Despite the rezoning, there are no plans in place to sell the site to developers, Newsday noted. A sale of the property would require another review from the town, separate from the rezoning process.

Brookhaven’s landfill has been operational for almost five decades. It is anticipated to close in December 2024, however, as it nears capacity.

[Newsday]Holden Walter-Warner

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