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Joel family makes request to add horse stable, home on Centre Island estate

Billy Joel, daughter Della and wife Alexis celebrate

Billy Joel, daughter Della and wife Alexis celebrate Della's participation in the 2019 Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton. Credit: / Rob Rich

Billy Joel’s sprawling Centre Island estate could add a horse stable under a proposed village law scheduled for a hearing next month.

The village has drafted a set of regulations to allow horses, ponies and equine livestock to be housed and maintained on private property following requests from the singer-songwriter to build a stable, Centre Island Mayor Larry Schmidlapp said.

“There was never a law against it, there was never a law for it,” Schmidlapp said in an interview. “Billy Joel wants a bunch of horses and now everyone’s concerned about the smell, the bugs, the diseases.”

Schmidlapp said the proposed law, which he said was still a work in progress, was modeled on similar ordinances in area villages, such as Lattingtown, that regulate how property owners may keep horses on their property.

“We’re trying to make the law applicable to somebody else that might want to have some horses,” Schmidlapp said. “This is not the Billy Joel law.”

Anthony Guardino of Hauppauge-based Farrell Fritz PC, attorney for Billy Joel and his wife, Alexis, told the village trustees at the Nov. 13 board meeting that his clients want to build a stable and single-family home on their property, according to meeting minutes. Guardino gave an overview of the project and submitted a conceptual plan and renderings to the trustees, the minutes said. Village clerk Carol Schmidlapp said in an email that the plans were presented at the meeting rather than submitted and that the village “does not have the plans or renderings in its possession.”

The board said it would take Guardino’s comments into consideration when drafting the legislation, according to the minutes.

Alexis Joel attended the meeting with three attorneys representing the couple, including Guardino, and the Joel residence property manager, according to the meeting minutes.

In 2016, Billy Joel purchased a five-acre horse ranch in Wellington, Florida, for $3.5 million, the Miami Herald reported. The Herald reported that his wife, a former Morgan Stanley executive, owned several horses and was an accomplished rider.

The proposed local law, posted on the village website, would allow up to 12 horses or ponies to be housed and maintained on a property, depending on the property’s size. The property would need to have a minimum of three contiguous acres and a single-family house for a horse to be permitted to be housed there. One additional horse — not to exceed 12 — would be allowed for each additional acre under the proposed law. The horses would be allowed only for personal use, and horse facilities such as stables and corrals would generally require setbacks of 75 to 100 feet from adjacent properties. Horse manure would need to be stored at least 200 feet from the property line.

Guardino declined to comment last week.

Joel publicist Claire Mercuri said in an email last week, “To date, no plans for stables have been submitted by the Joel’s to the village of Centre Island.”

A hearing on the proposed law is scheduled for Feb. 12.

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