Plans to construct a 130-bed assisted living development in Smithtown as part of a $45 million project have gained site plan approval.
Town Board members unanimously voted 5-0 on Nov. 3 to conditionally approve the site plan for Benchmark-Whisper Landing and accept an environmental report that concluded there would be no significant harmful impacts from the facility, at Route 25A and River Heights Drive.
Conditions for site plan approval of the proposed three-story, 88,508-square-foot facility include requiring the applicant, BSL NY Development LLC, to get permits from the town building department and submit, to the town engineering department, a geotechnical report detailing soil specifications for proposed backfilling.
BSL NY must also adhere to a landscaping plan prepared by the town planning department, which focuses on planting evergreen trees within 10 feet of the east and southeast clearing limits within seven months of the beginning of site clearing, and preserving healthy trees near the site's clearing limits that do not interfere with construction.
The board's vote came after Smithtown officials settled lawsuits in July filed against the town and town zoning board by St. Johnland Development Corp. The company sued the town in 2014, after town officials placed nearly 30 conditions on granting a special exception permit for the construction -- required for assisted-living facilities -- and variances for Whisper Landing.
The settlement allowed St. Johnland to sell the property to Benchmark Senior Living, a Wellesley, Massachusetts-based firm planning to build studio, one- and two-bedroom units, and companion suites.