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Islip Town tells developer of former golf course to consider alternatives

Resident Deidre J. Surber on Wednesday spoke about the proposed housing development at the former Island Hills Golf Course. Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter took a vote on requiring the developer to consider alternatives. (Credit: Newsday / Kadia Goba) Credit: Newsday / Kadia Goba

Islip Town officials have proposed that the planned developer of the former Island Hills Golf Course in Sayville examine six alternatives as it conducts an environmental review of creating a luxury apartment complex.

The town board on Tuesday approved a scoping document for the proposed 1,365-unit residential complex that requires the developer explore alternatives such as building fewer units, creating a subdivision with a nine-hole golf course and providing recreational services, according to the document.  

The scoping document outlines various environmental impacts that need to be studied, such as traffic and water quality, as developer Rechler Equity Partners seeks a zone change for the property under applicant R Squared Development LLC.

Supervisor Angie Carpenter said the project is “not a done deal,” citing that the scoping document was crafted using residents' concerns.

“No stone was left unturned,” she said. “It’s going to be a long process moving forward.”

The document is part of an environmental review required for many construction projects under state law. Other alternatives include keeping the site as is, building single-family homes or creating a “life cycle community,” such as senior apartments and assisted living.

Rechler's planning team "is ready to begin the necessary work required under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and respond to any findings discovered in a diligent manner," said managing partner Gregg Rechler.

The project, to be called Greybarn Sayville, requires a zone change from the current residential district to a planned development district. It will also need separate approvals from the town planning board, highway department and building department, as well as county and state agencies.

The final scoping document includes a larger swath of roads and peak hours that need to be studied for traffic impacts than what was outlined in a draft document discussed in an April planning board meeting, town planning and development commissioner Ron Meyer said.

Before the town board’s 5-0 vote, residents reiterated concerns about traffic and density.

“Every aspect in it is a concern and interest to my neighborhood,” Sayville resident Donna Brown said.

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