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Story Book Meadows wants Smithtown to OK more apartment units

Smithtown planning board members this week expect to consider a real estate developer’s petition to lift restrictions of a zone-change approval dating back to the 1990s on a senior apartment community.

Planning board members will hear a proposal by Story Book Meadows at a public hearing, scheduled for Feb. 17. The company wants to increase the number of units for a proposed apartment complex to 228 units from 192 and operate a private sewage treatment plant on the 23.17-acre site, located on Smithtown Boulevard, County Road 16, in Nesconset.

The application has drawn the ire of more than 800 Nesconset residents concerned about potential impacts on traffic, the environment and quality of life, according to a petition cited by opponents.

The developer agreed to the conditions in 1996, as part of Smithtown town’s approval of its application to rezone neighborhood business and residential property to garden apartments, documents show.

The Suffolk County Planning Commission in January deemed Story Book’s application as incomplete. The commission was legally required to review the request, because the zoning action is within 500 feet of a county road.

Suffolk County Planning commissioners voted that they would not review the application again until Story Book provided a supplement to the 1994 draft and final environmental impact statements to address hydro-geologic issues related to storm water runoff, potential flooding and groundwater travel time to local ponds and lakes, as well as details on sewage treatment, traffic, and other related issues.

Following the testimony and a site visit, Smithtown planning board members plan to make a recommendation to town board members, who ultimately will review and decide on Story Book’s application.

The Smithtown Planning Board meeting will be held at 8 p.m. at the Eugene A. Cannataro Senior Citizen Center, 420 Middle Country Road, in Smithtown.

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