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Smithtown to vote on proposed home near Nissequogue River

Planning officials say the size of the home is too big for the property in Kings Park and appears to conflict with waterfront development rules.

The Smithtown Town Council is scheduled to vote

The Smithtown Town Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a measure to quash a resident's application to build a 2,210-square-foot home in the San Remo section of Kings Park. Photo Credit: Raychel Brightman

The Smithtown Town Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a measure that would quash a town resident’s application to build a 2,210-square-foot home near the Nissequogue River in the San Remo section of Kings Park.

The proposal from Jenny Spignolo calls for a two-story home on the undeveloped 8,000-square-foot portion of a 14,000-square-foot Locust Drive parcel. The developed 6,000-square-foot portion of the parcel already has a home on it.   

Former town planner David Flynn wrote in a memo to the council in May   that the proposal appeared to conflict with waterfront development policies intended to prevent development of vacant undersized lots in San Remo because of flood risk and other concerns. The memo included a recommendation that the council issue a finding of inconsistency with the town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

In general, “the board should follow the recommendations of their department experts where a state mandated application is required. Otherwise we could be setting precedent that could turn out harmful to the community,” town spokeswoman Nicole Garguilo said.

Other apparent problems with Spignolo’s plans include the size of the home she proposed, which Flynn said should be reduced to 2,000 square feet to “preserve the natural character of the waterfront.” Flynn also said that waterfront development policies recommend natural materials and “earth tones” to reduce the visual contrast between a project and the environment. Spignolo’s plans do not indicate the color or patterns of the siding, trim and roof of the house she wants to build. 

Spignolo’s attorney, Vincent J. Trimarco, argued in a March letter that town officials had approved a similar proposal from a neighbor in 2016. Flynn’s memo did not address that argument.

Trimarco said in an interview last week that Spignolo’s grandmother had given her the land and still lives in the existing home. Without council approval of the application, Spignolo, a nurse, and her husband, a Suffolk County police officer, might not be able to live in Smithtown, he said.

“I hope for the kids’ sake” that the council approves the application, he said.

The council is also scheduled on Tuesday to consider tightening the town’s noise restrictions and increasing fines for violations.

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