Hotel proposal at Watermill in Smithtown irks residents

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SMITHTOWN -

A proposal to build a four-story, 94-room hotel at the Watermill Catering Hall in Smithtown has some residents upset.

They say the project would attract noise, unruly guests and drunk drivers to the area.

“It's like somebody dropped Godzilla in the middle of our neighborhood and destroyed it forever,” one resident said.

Watermill owner Tony Scotto says residents have it wrong.

“Everything that I build is special, and this hotel will be special,” he told News 12, insisting that it will be a boutique hotel and a welcome addition to the town.

“At the end of the day, this is going to be a hotel that Smithtown doesn't have, and needs, and deserves,” he says.

According to the plan, the hotel would be built on a piece of the property that's currently being used as a parking lot near Route 347.

In the end, the Watermill would lose four parking spaces.

The project needs approval from the Town Board to move forward. Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim has expressed support for the plan. He told News 12 that he's listening to residents' concerns.

He says no decision will be made until “public hearings are concluded.”

Officials say the proposal is still in the planning stage.  A public hearing is scheduled for May 23.

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