Barn proposal in Orient stirs environmental concerns

Posted: Updated:

Residents in Orient are expressing their opposition to a plan to build a 9,000-square-foot livestock barn on a 34-acre piece of land, citing possible environmental effects. 

The mostly undeveloped property was recently acquired by Fresh & Co, which runs more than a dozen so-called fast-casual restaurants in New York City. The company's website says the farm will provide pasture-raised poultry, pork and dairy to all of its restaurants.

At a recent public hearing of the Southold Planning Committee, about 20 people voiced their concerns about the plan. Specifically, about the effect it could have on three bodies of water near the site - The Narrow River, Hallocks Bay and Orient Harbor.

Bob Hanlon, president of the Orient Association and neighbor to the proposed barn site, says animal waste can create a significant environmental impact in those waterways.

"We are only about 5 feet above sea level here, our water table is right below where this barn is being proposed," says Hanlon, who called the surrounding ecosystem "fragile." 

An online petition opposed to the plan has already collected more than 1,000 signatures.   

The Town of Southhold Planning Committee is still gathering information on Fresh and Co's proposal. At least one more public hearing is expected to be held before the proposal's fate is decided.

News 12 tried contacting Fresh and Company, but calls were not answered.

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