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Vote on proposed subdivision near Smithtown Landing delayed

Property owners want to divide up vacant land

Property owners want to divide up vacant land on Landing Avenue, pictured in foreground, into four lots. The Smithtown Planning Board will vote on the proposal Wednesday. Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

Votes on a controversial proposed subdivision near the Smithtown Landing golf course scheduled for this week won’t come until June 13, a town Planning Board member said Monday night.

Board member Conrad Chayes said the votes on the 3.2-acre Landing Avenue site were delayed at the request of Vincent Trimarco Sr., the land use attorney representing owners Joseph and Roseann Perna. Trimarco could not be reached Monday night.

After years of administrative and legal wrangling, the site had been scheduled to get two votes from the Planning Board this Wednesday. One vote was to determine if a potentially costly environmental impact report was needed for the application dividing the site into four lots. The other vote was on a resolution from Chayes to deny the application, which he said was “poorly thought out” and would result in development out of character with the rest of the neighborhood. “That’s not Smithtown, to me,” he said at an April 11 Planning Board hearing.

Trimarco Sr., who has already sued the town once over its handling of the application, said in an interview earlier this month he would sue again if that resolution passes. The Pernas “need the money” they stand to make from a successful project, he said, adding that their proposal was similar to “probably 50 subdivisions in the town.”

The proposal, known as Foxwood Estates, needs a variance to accommodate its layout, reducing front yard setback from 50 feet to 40 feet on three lots and to 25 feet on one lot. Those setbacks are significantly shorter than others in the neighborhood, according to Chayes, and would have an “adverse effect” on the neighborhood’s character. Additionally, one of the lots is about 15 percent smaller than zoning for the area permits.

First submitted in 2011, the proposal went through years of comments and revisions before the board heard a resolution last October to forgo an environmental impact report. That resolution had the consent of staff from five departments including planning but Chayes, then board chairman, led a 3-2 vote against it.

The board then tabled the application, pushing it into what a lawyer for the town called “suspended animation.” Trimarco sued, demanding that the application be approved; a state Supreme Court judge in February dismissed the suit but ordered that the Planning Board rehear the application, saying he was “troubled” by the tabling maneuver.

The Planning Board will meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday at town hall.

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