The owner of 52 acres in North Bellport wants to build a $50-million development that would include assisted living, apartments and retail.
Port Jefferson-based Crest Bellport developers would need a zoning change for the land from industrial to planned development district.
Brookhaven Town officials held separate public hearings on the zoning application and the environmental impact study Jan. 31.
The project, which includes 120 beds at the assisted living facility, would be on the north side of Sunrise Highway and east of Station Road.
Developer Enrico Scarda said he’s owned the property for four years and that jobs would be created and land preserved.
Dozens of residents attended the hearing expressing their support or opposition of the project.
“We have a population that is rapidly aging, and our seniors need access to a living environment that is in their community,” Yaphank resident Elizabeth D’Elia, 48, told council members during the hearing. “The addition of retail shops plus businesses will have a significant economic impact for the community, providing construction jobs and permanent jobs.”
South Country Ambulance Chief Gregory Miglino said he supports the project because of its economic benefits. He said he was speaking as a resident and not representing the ambulance company.
“In a perfect world, we would look to see this land remained untouched,” Miglino told the board. “I’m asking that the Town of Brookhaven consider a favorable vote in support.”
Dennis Oliver, a volunteer firefighter with the Hagerman Fire Department, expressed concerns over increased emergency response time and traffic.
Shirley resident Barron Permenter, 50, told board members he was in opposition and questioned how North Bellport residents would benefit from the project.
He said most residents there couldn’t afford the housing, though pricing for the apartments and assisted living was not discussed.
Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico, who opposed the development, said the project would increase traffic and possibly impede redevelopment along Montauk Highway and near the Bellport train station for which town officials adopted the Greater Bellport Land Use Plan in 2014.
Panico also said he wasn’t sure if the retail aspect of the project would materialize.
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine told opponents that the development would not be funded by public money, if approved.
For the next three weeks, town officials are accepting written comments regarding the project before they vote on the zone change, which would not likely happen for at least a few months.
Before the town votes, Crest Bellport must address the comments and submit a final environmental impact study. Suffolk County must also review the project.
If the town board approves the zone change, the project would go before the planning board for site plan approval, unless a zoning board variance is required. Planning officials have final say over the project.