Town of Warwick -- The final environmental impact statement for a new Jehovah's Witnesses world headquarters has been accepted by the town, clearing the way for further in-depth reviews of the construction plans.
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York is in the process of completing additional documents to accompany the 120-page report, spokesman Richard Devine said Monday.
He said it was unknown when construction will start, because the proposed development still needs to go through the site-plan and building-permit approval processes. The Long Meadow Road site, about a mile northwest of the Sterling Mine Road intersection, totals 257 acres. Only about 30 acres are to be developed.
The complex would replace the current headquarters in Brooklyn with a dozen buildings to include offices, apartments, a central kitchen and maintenance shops. The property formerly housed International Nickel offices.
Environmental reviews involved local, county and state agencies that considered issues ranging from traffic to sewage disposal to wildlife habitats.
Because of concern for endangered timber rattlesnakes that make their dens less than a mile away, Watchtower representatives agreed to limit land-clearing and grading activities to the snakes' hibernation period.