Residents: Rezoning ex-golf course would impact community character

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Sayville residents are concerned about a rezoning plan that would allow the construction of an apartment complex on the former Island Hills Golf Club property.

Developer Rechler Equity Partners is seeking a change in zoning code to build as many as 1,300 luxury apartments on the 114-acre property. Neighbors say the buildings will clash with their community.

The developer says there is no final design, but it is hoping to attract millennials and empty nesters. But residents say they're worried the plan will bring congestion and overcrowd schools.

"This isn't Brooklyn or Manhattan or whatever, so we will be against it," says Michael Capuano, of Oakdale. "We want the zoning board to deny this."

Robert Blair, of the Sayville Chamber of Commerce, predicts the project will lead to economic growth.

"The rent in these places is a decent amount each month, so to have more of those people in our community would be a great thing for our businesses and our downtown area,” he says.

A spokesperson for Rechler Equity Partners tells News 12 in a statement: "The Island Hills Golf Club is at present a shuttered and distressed piece of property. However, through careful and smart planning, we believe it could represent an invaluable asset to the Sayville community. It's important to remember that the concept for this property is in the preliminary stages of a lengthy planning and review process. For the past several months, we have been engaging with the community in a collaborative process, listening to their ideas and incorporating their suggestions and recommendations into our proposal. We are committed to following a comprehensive and transparent process with community stakeholders and the Town, including executing an Environmental Impact Study that will review the potential impacts on areas such as traffic, parking and economic growth."

Ron Meyer, the Town of Islip planning commissioner, also sent a statement to News 12: "Current zoning allows for single family dwellings on 1 acre lots. The proposed zoning would allow for approximately 12 apartments to the acre and some accessory commercial uses (coffee shops, convenience markets, etc.). The application has not been scheduled for a public hearing yet. The Town Board's next step is to declare lead agency and make a determination of significance. These are procedural requirements for SEQRA."

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