The Islip Town Board Tuesday approved a Manhattan-based planning consultant to analyze market impacts of the proposed Serota Properties Islip Pines project.
After a recommendation from town planning Commissioner Dave Genaway and approval from the board, Buckhurst, Fish & Jacquemart will review the application for the controversial 140-acre mixed-use commercial and residential development in Holbrook at Veterans Highway and Sunrise Highway.
The project is being analyzed for potential tweaks by the applicant after a public hearing in March brought out some 300 residents who largely spoke against the development, which would include 400,000 square feet of retail space, including two big-box stores.
Last month, Genaway estimated the cost of hiring the consultant at $11,500, to be paid by the applicant. Throughout the progress of the application, which would require a new zoning category and a change of zone, business owners from Sayville and neighboring areas have expressed concerns that the Islip Pines project would suck the life out of their downtowns.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, Sayville resident Sam Cernieux cautioned the board that the project would kill small businesses and create only temporary construction jobs.
“As far as permanent jobs, [the application] does not guarantee that these jobs would be permanent,” Cernieux said.
Serota attorney Bram Weber said last month he sees the hiring of an independent consultant as a positive sign.
“We agreed with them that an independent analysis was needed of our studies so the town could feel comfortable in the data we’re producing,” Weber said.
Above: Sketch of the proposed Islip Pines project.