A Holtsville golf driving range-restaurant project has received a key approval from Brookhaven Town planning officials.
The planning board voted 6-0 on Monday to grant site plan approval for Topgolf, a Dallas-based national chain that plans to build the facility on the Long Island Expressway North Service Road.
The $25 million facility would be the chain's first location in New York. The current facilities nearest to Long Island are in Edison and Mount Laurel, both in New Jersey.
Topgolf facilities feature eateries with live and recorded music and booths from which patrons can strike golf balls toward targets placed dozens of yards away. Topgolf balls have implanted electronic chips to measure the distance they land from the targets.
"We are interested in bringing Topgolf to New York and will share more information in the coming months," a company spokeswoman said Wednesday in an email.
The proposal had faced opposition from residents who live near the 26.56-acre site on the northwest corner of the service road and Morris Avenue. Opponents had expressed concerns about traffic, bright lighting and noise generated by the operation, which is expected to close at 2 a.m. on weekends.
Topgolf will be required to plant additional trees and install a fence along the northern border of the property to serve as a buffer between the facility and a residential neighborhood, according to town documents. The planning board did not require Topgolf to alter its hours of operation or change entrances and exits as conditions of receiving site plan approval.
Stephen Ziegler, who said he lives within 500 feet of the venue, said the added vegetation and fencing isn't enough.
“I’m very disappointed. It’s a direct hit to my quality of life. It hurts my property value to my house,” Ziegler said Wednesday. “The only thing protecting me from the sound and the noise is a drainage basin that has three arborvitaes surrounding it.”
At a public hearing last month, Topgolf representatives said the venue would comply with town zoning and noise ordinances. They said music was part of the company's business model.
Brookhaven Councilman Kevin LaValle, who represents Holtsville on the town board, said Topgolf is "a very positive business" that would provide an economic boost to the area.
“I think what’s been put in place with the buffers ... really will help to mitigate the concerns,” LaValle said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "The response that I’ve had from people who live around here and people I know from college, everybody says it’s an amazing experience.”
It was unclear when Topgolf would open. LaValle said Topgolf must acquire town building permits before it can begin construction.
Topgolf operates 63 facilities in the United States and three in Great Britain. The company's website said 17 million customers played 44.4 million games at Topgolf facilities last year.