Riverhead apartment proposal catches flack

Posted: Updated:
RIVERHEAD -

There are concerns over plans to build an apartment building in downtown Riverhead right next to one that's being blamed for causing damage to surrounding historical buildings.

Barbara Damm says falling plaster and cracks in the ceiling and on the walls started in spring when construction began on an apartment building across the street from the historic Methodist Church in downtown Riverhead. News 12 reported on the situation in April. Six months later, parishioners say the problems have worsened.

In the basement of the church, one can see the foundation that was built in 1872. It's in pretty good shape, and everything is in place. But in one spot, church members say vibrations have knocked much of the mortar out from the bricks and stone. There's a pile of it on the floor.

Next door to the church, in the parsonage, the pastor says cracks in the walls and ceilings have also worsened since spring.

In spring, the developer of the project had vibration monitors installed throughout the church. They're measured weekly, with the results going to both the church and the town. The developer says levels are nowhere near the point at which structural damage would be caused. He says the cracks could've been pre-existing.

Parishioners believe otherwise, saying they're concerned if the second apartment project is approved.

A hearing on the second apartment project is scheduled for next Tuesday night at Riverhead Town Hall.

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