Rechler Equity Partners, which owns the former Island Hills Golf and Country Club in Sayville, has debuted its 3rd plan since 2017 to create housing on the property. Residents are protesting. NewsdayTV's Virginia Huie reports. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez; File Footage; Photo Credit: Randee Daddona; Rechler Equity Partners

The developer whose plans to build housing on a former Sayville golf course have met fierce community opposition for several years has a third proposal for the land, one that includes fewer units and single-family homes with age restrictions.

Rechler Equity Partners, which owns the former Island Hills Golf and Country Club on Lakeland Avenue, has downsized the proposed project for a second time since its original 2017 plan.

Last year, a conceptual plan called for 925 housing units. The developer presented that proposal to the community in August, but never pursued Town of Islip approval after pushback from residents.

The third plan, which Rechler officials said they submitted to the town Monday and also shared with Newsday, includes 890 homes — more than a third of which would be for sale.

The project requires the town board to approve a zoning change. The property's zoning only allows 98 single-family homes on the former golf course, which closed in 2015.

A Town of Islip spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that the developer filed revised plans with the town planning department. Town officials expect “all required documents” to be submitted for a state environmental quality review and change of zone “in the near future” before a public hearing will be held, she said.

In 2021, Islip's town board rejected the developer's 2017 initial proposal by voting down a zone change after a public hearing at which more than 200 residents objected to the plan. It had called for a 1,365-unit apartment complex on the 114-acre property. 

The latest plan for the development, now known as South Bay Village, includes 314 single-family homes for people 55 and older, an age restriction that officials who work for the developer said in a Newsday interview would translate into less traffic from the site. 

The proposal also calls for 576 total rental homes, with 173 of those residences for people 55 and older. The plan limits buildings to three stories and includes housing options that would range from studio apartments to three-bedroom detached cottages.

Between 10 and 15 affordable rental homes would be reserved for adults with disabilities, according to Rechler officials. 

They called the revised design a “walkable neighborhood” that would have interconnected streets and green space. The company doesn't have an estimate for how much it would spend on the project, according to spokesman David Chauvin.

To address community opposition, the developer last summer organized a five-person advisory committee of local stakeholders and held invitation-only meetings to gather feedback.

“I feel like we've gotten such great information in terms of what people want to see, what they don't want to see, what concerns them. And we've taken that, and we've … turned it into this plan,” Gregg Rechler, a managing partner at the company, said Monday.

Records provided by the developer also show the latest proposal includes a plan to build a bigger wastewater infrastructure facility and provide residents with shuttles to Sayville’s Main Street and the nearby Long Island Rail Road station. 

Rechler officials said community feedback also led to the elimination of plans for a community farm and an on-site art center.

But leaders with civic group The Greater Islip Association Inc. said in interviews Tuesday the third version of the development proposal is still too large.

Association president Milynn Augulis said the new proposal is “certainly not a compromise.”

John Tafe, the group's executive assistant, said it exceeds the density allowed on the property many times over.

“You went from reaching for over the moon to now just reaching for the moon,” he said.

The developer whose plans to build housing on a former Sayville golf course have met fierce community opposition for several years has a third proposal for the land, one that includes fewer units and single-family homes with age restrictions.

Rechler Equity Partners, which owns the former Island Hills Golf and Country Club on Lakeland Avenue, has downsized the proposed project for a second time since its original 2017 plan.

Last year, a conceptual plan called for 925 housing units. The developer presented that proposal to the community in August, but never pursued Town of Islip approval after pushback from residents.

The third plan, which Rechler officials said they submitted to the town Monday and also shared with Newsday, includes 890 homes — more than a third of which would be for sale.

A third Sayville housing proposal

  • A developer has a third plan to build housing on the former Island Hills Golf and Country Club.
  • The project from Rechler Equity Partners has been downsized from 925 to 890 homes. 
  • The town board would have to approve a zoning change for the project.
  • Some civic leaders say the plan is still too dense for the acreage.

The project requires the town board to approve a zoning change. The property's zoning only allows 98 single-family homes on the former golf course, which closed in 2015.

A Town of Islip spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that the developer filed revised plans with the town planning department. Town officials expect “all required documents” to be submitted for a state environmental quality review and change of zone “in the near future” before a public hearing will be held, she said.

In 2021, Islip's town board rejected the developer's 2017 initial proposal by voting down a zone change after a public hearing at which more than 200 residents objected to the plan. It had called for a 1,365-unit apartment complex on the 114-acre property. 

The latest plan for the development, now known as South Bay Village, includes 314 single-family homes for people 55 and older, an age restriction that officials who work for the developer said in a Newsday interview would translate into less traffic from the site. 

The proposal also calls for 576 total rental homes, with 173 of those residences for people 55 and older. The plan limits buildings to three stories and includes housing options that would range from studio apartments to three-bedroom detached cottages.

Between 10 and 15 affordable rental homes would be reserved for adults with disabilities, according to Rechler officials. 

They called the revised design a “walkable neighborhood” that would have interconnected streets and green space. The company doesn't have an estimate for how much it would spend on the project, according to spokesman David Chauvin.

To address community opposition, the developer last summer organized a five-person advisory committee of local stakeholders and held invitation-only meetings to gather feedback.

“I feel like we've gotten such great information in terms of what people want to see, what they don't want to see, what concerns them. And we've taken that, and we've … turned it into this plan,” Gregg Rechler, a managing partner at the company, said Monday.

Records provided by the developer also show the latest proposal includes a plan to build a bigger wastewater infrastructure facility and provide residents with shuttles to Sayville’s Main Street and the nearby Long Island Rail Road station. 

Rechler officials said community feedback also led to the elimination of plans for a community farm and an on-site art center.

But leaders with civic group The Greater Islip Association Inc. said in interviews Tuesday the third version of the development proposal is still too large.

Association president Milynn Augulis said the new proposal is “certainly not a compromise.”

John Tafe, the group's executive assistant, said it exceeds the density allowed on the property many times over.

“You went from reaching for over the moon to now just reaching for the moon,” he said.

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