A proposal to add 28 new homes at Stonebridge Golf...

A proposal to add 28 new homes at Stonebridge Golf Links and Country Club in Hauppauge is before Smithtown's planning board, which would have to roll back restrictions to allow the project. Credit: James Carbone

The owners of a Hauppauge golf course want Smithtown officials to roll back decades-old building restrictions so they can build 28 homes and a clubhouse on the 134-acre property — a plan that faces stiff community opposition.

The proposal from Stonebridge Golf Links and Country Club LLC would include the construction of a driving range, the modification of an 18-hole golf course into two 9-hole courses and other site improvements.

The proposed 8,000-square-foot clubhouse would have a grill room and pro shop for golf club members on the first floor and an exercise room, card room, locker rooms and meeting space for residents of the 28 homes on the second floor, records show.

However, there are covenants on the property dating back to 1999, which the town’s planning board approved for Hauppauge Country Club Associates, described in the plans as Stonebridge's “predecessor-in-interest.”

Back then, the covenants allowed for the 105 homes, 18-hole golf course and clubhouse that are on the property now. They prohibit more than 105 homes from being built and restrict the golf club’s membership to 250 members.

The restrictions also state that if the golf facility ever closed, any application to subdivide the property would be limited to 30 homes — with at least 90 acres of the property preserved as open space.

In addition to newly-proposed construction, the applicants are asking to replace the open space clause with a condition that would allow for the continued use of the golf course. The applicants' attorney, David Altman, declined to comment Tuesday.

More than 60 people attended a March planning board public hearing on the project at Smithtown Senior Center, with several speaking against the proposed development. Town officials had to turn away members of the public after the meeting room reached capacity.

Those in opposition included Suffolk County Legis. Rob Trotta (R-Northport) and Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset), with both expressing concerns related to the project’s potential effects on Blydenburgh Park and the Nissequogue River due to the location's proximity to both.

Sue Stavrakos, 63, also spoke against the plan at the hearing. Two years ago, she and her husband, Chris Stavrakos, 66, moved into one of the single-family homes at Stonebridge Estates, the residential golf course community.

The couple said in an interview Wednesday they are worried adding new homes and modifying the golf course would damage river water quality and create more traffic and safety issues.

“If I had known they were planning this, I would have never moved here,” said Sue Stavrakos, who serves as secretary for Stonebridge Estates Homeowners Association, which represents the community's 105 homeowners.

“We’re not asking for anything more than what was originally agreed on in 1999, but we are certainly not asking for less. We want it status quo,” she added.

Planning board officials said they'll decide whether or not the proposal is accepted — not the town board — since the planning board placed the covenants. Town officials said Thursday they couldn't estimate the timing of the board's decision.

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