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Neighbors oppose housing development at Bayport horse farm

Neighbors of a horse farm put up signs

Neighbors of a horse farm put up signs opposing a housing development proposed for the property, seen on Thursday.  Credit: James Carbone

Owners of a Bayport horse farm are in contract with a developer who wants to convert the property into a complex of senior-owned homes, Islip officials said, but neighbors say the proposal would add traffic to an already busy street near two schools.

Town officials are considering an application to rezone Outlaw Acres horse farm on Sylvan Avenue and convert it to 32 single-family residences on the six-acre property. The proposal by Kelly Development Inc., based in Patchogue, requires residents be 55 or older and own the home.

“You have people who race down the road like animals,” said Elise Schmidt, 47, a resident on Sylvan Avenue. “There are already a lot of traffic issues, getting 32 more condos would not be a good thing.”

Outlaw Acres owners did not return calls for comment.

Records show Michael Bulzomi and Rita Gambino purchased the Outlaw Acres property in 1995. Outlaw Acres, according to its website, is a business that offers horses for sale and riding lessons. 

Kelly Development attorney Andrew Garbarino also confirmed that the developers are in contract to purchase Outlaw Acres. Garbarino is a New York State assemblyman whose district includes the horse farm property. Garbarino also is the son of Islip Republican Chairman William Garbarino.

“There is no conflict," Andrew Garbarino said of his dual role as a lawyer for the proposed development and a public official. "This application does not deal with New York State or any of its agencies.”

Ron Meyer, Islip commissioner of Planning and Development, said the Planning Board held a Sept. 6 meeting about the application by Kelly Development to rezone the property. About 50 people attended, and some members of the public expressed opposition, largely due to traffic matters, Meyer said.

The Planning Board then requested a traffic analysis be done. “At this point, we’re waiting for them (the developer) to give us data,” Meyer said.

The proposal is in the early stages, Meyer said, and there will be at least two more meetings on the topic before the Town Board could vote on whether to approve rezoning.

A maximum of 12 homes can be built on the property as it is currently zoned, Meyer said.

The Sylvan Avenue neighborhood last week was lined with yard signs opposing the proposal. The black and red signs with white letters state: “Say No To Proposed Zone Change At Outlaw Acres.”

The horse farm is near James Wilson Young Middle School and Sylvan Avenue Elementary School.

Michelle Koerner, 51, a Sylvan Avenue resident, said she supports leaving the property zoned as is.  

"I understand something has to be built there. But in the best interest of the neighborhood, 12 homes is what should be built there — not 32,” she said.

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