Peconic Baykeeper sues Islip over Islip Pines-Serota development

An artist rendering of the Serota Pines development

An artist rendering of the Serota Pines development in Islip Town.

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An environmental advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against the Town of Islip to stop the Islip Pines-Serota development, saying the project's scale could endanger Long Island's water quality.

Peconic Baykeeper Inc. on Friday filed the Article 78 lawsuit, which is used to appeal the decision of a local municipality.

The town board voted in favor of the 136-acre mixed-use development's change of zone application in March, removing the biggest hurdle for the project after more than five years' delay and community opposition.

The board's decision is "contrary to the town's zoning code, the best interest of the community and the protection of our precious ground and surface waters," Peconic Baykeeper chairman Brendan McCurdy said in a release Tuesday.

"We're saying land use has a direct impact on water and it's a huge development, and the density is so great," McCurdy said Tuesday. "We're stepping up to say you have to consider the environmental impact."

The $300 million Islip Pines-Serota project at the corner of Sunrise and Veterans Memorial highways includes community spaces and athletic fields in addition to 350 apartments, 1.1 million square feet of industrial and office space, and 38,000 square feet of commercial space.

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Rob Cicale, Islip Town attorney, said in a statement Tuesday that he had not seen the lawsuit, but "I am confident that the decisions and actions made by the town board were properly executed and will withstand legal scrutiny."

Bram Weber, a lawyer for developer Serota Properties of Valley Stream, said he, too, had not seen the filing and could not comment on it.

“The approvals that Islip Pines received were based upon a comprehensive multiyear environmental study of all potential impacts. We are confident the record of support for the project is strong,” he said.


Peconic Baykeeper also called on Islip Supervisor Tom Croci to review the town board’s vote in favor of the project as part of his ongoing review of decisions made during his yearlong military deployment to Afghanistan.

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