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Assisted living code adoption on town board agenda

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Legislation amending the Riverhead’s retirement community zoning to allow for the construction of assisted living facilities is on the agenda for adoption at tonight’s town board meeting.

The code has been rewritten several times and had its third public hearing earlier this month. See prior story.

If adopted, the legislation paves the way for a change of zone petition and special permit application by Concordia Senior Communities, which would like to build a housing development that includes assisted living units on 25 acres on the east side of Mill Road, just north of Route 58. The site being eyed by Concordia is currently zoned for agriculture and retail uses.

Also on the board’s agenda tonight: the adoption of a rewritten solid waste management law, which brings the town’s 20-year-old current regulations up to date and into compliance with current state standards.

The town board tonight is scheduled to formally accept the retirement of Riverhead tax receiver Maryann Wowak Heilbrunn, who announced her retirement earlier this month. See prior story. The town board will likely name her replacement, to serve until the next general election, when the voters will choose someone to finish out Heilbrunn’s term, which expires in 2015. Councilman James Wooten is interested in being named to the post, he told RiverheadLOCAL June 6 (see story.) Wooten, who sought the GOP’s designation for supervisor last year, but withdrew his bid and ran for re-election as councilman instead,  said this month he was asked by the Republican committee to consider the tax receiver job. 

Heilbrunn’s retirement and the consideration of candidates for the spot is part of what touched off a storm in town hall last week. An argument erupted in the meeting room after an executive session when Supervisor Sean Walter learned board members met with the Republican executive committee and discussed banning Walter’s political adviser, Anthony Coates, from accompanying Walter on lobbying trips to Albany. Walter told RiverheadLOCAL Thursday he has no support in the leadership of the Riverhead GOP and cited, as an example of his alienation, the fact that he wasn’t told Heilbrunn was resigning. Walter said he found out about the resignation from a staff member, though the Republican executive committee knew about it for two weeks and had been discussing her replacement with town board members Wooten and Jodi Giglio.

Riverhead Republican chairman John Galla told RiverheadLOCAL last week the party would be screening interested candidates for the tax receiver position at a meeting on June 28.