The now-shuttered Island Hills Golf and Country Club on Lakeland...

The now-shuttered Island Hills Golf and Country Club on Lakeland Avenue in Sayville on Wednesday.   Credit: James Carbone

The Islip Town Board won’t entertain a rezoning proposal that would allow developers to transform a closed golf course in Sayville into a 1,365-unit apartment complex, Supervisor Angie Carpenter announced.

The decision comes after a recent public hearing where more than 200 residents protested a development proposal by Rechler Equity Partners, the group behind the Greybarn apartment brand.

Nearly 70 protesters spoke at the public meeting and criticized most aspects of the project: size, building height, environmental impact, traffic and infrastructure strains and worries about rentals.

Developers first submitted plans for the property in 2017, and progress has inched forward since. The golf course closed in 2015.

Rechler proposed constructing 1,365 luxury apartments on the 114-acre property, but required rezoning approval by the town board for the $500 million project.

"The Islip Town Board had a very well-attended DEIS public hearing on Dec. 1 and the residents spoke, and made it clear, that they were not supportive of 1,365 apartments on this particular parcel," Carpenter said in a statement to Newsday.

"This resolution is an acknowledgment that we, the Town Board listened, and agree that 26 multifamily buildings of three and four stories would stand in contrast to the essential character of the surrounding residential community."

Developers called the board's decision disappointing but said they remain committed to the project.

"We believe Greybarn will be good for Sayville's and Long Island's future by providing much needed housing opportunities close to Main Street," co-managing partner Gregg Rechler told Newsday, calling the proposed complex an "asset to the Sayville community."

The current residential zoning allows 100 single-family homes on the former Island Hills Golf Course on Lakeland Avenue. The board's decision will require developers to tweak plans.

The town board’s decision to not hear the rezoning proposal came as a surprise to those opposed to the project, said John Tafe, the director of the Greater Islip Association and an organizer of the opposition movement that wants the project to downsize.

"Today is a victory for the community that our voices matter," Tafe said on behalf of the association in a statement to Newsday. "The Island Hills Golf Course was spared for today, and let’s hope this beautiful green space that captures so much history will continue to be victorious."

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

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