EAST ISLIP

Bayview senior housing still on hold, for now

Planning board members reserve decision to address continued traffic concerns

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Islip Town Planning Board has reserved its decision on the highly-contested plan for the proposed senior housing units at 7 and 9 Bayview Avenue in East Islip.

Applicant Larry Gargano, representing Bay Green Realty, LLC, requested a change of zone from Residence A district to Residence C district in order to construct 16 semi-detached senior citizen dwellings at the site. Site plan modifications were requested as part of the application.

Planning board members reviewed a finalized site plan at the Wednesday, Feb. 3 board meeting.

The application, which was first heard at a meeting on Aug. 26, 2020, would create cottage-style, for-sale homes on the east side of Bayview Avenue, approximately 210 feet south of Montauk Highway. The homes would be restricted to 55 and older.

The 2.48-acre site would house one-and two-family units, Gargano said, which would add “variety and interest and further strengthen the cottage community-type of development we want to propose.” Units would have front or wraparound porches for residents’ use.

“We feel very confident that the project, if approved, would be a tremendous asset to the East Islip community,” Gargano said. “We’re looking to build upon the success of similar properties that we have been involved in the Town of Islip, namely in Islip, Bohemia and East Islip. We think this is a very responsible and appropriate use and application for the site.”

The updated plan, Gargano said, also increases the number of parking spaces on the property from 29 to 31.

Since the project was first proposed, senior planner Sean Colgan said the town’s traffic consultant has reviewed a traffic analysis and concluded that the site will have “minimal impact on traffic flow on the adjacent streets.”

Prior to the board’s decision, member Tim Mattimore said he understands the public’s opposition to the single-family-dwelling owners, but he said Gargano’s research shows that this project is a good idea.

“I know we’ve had a chance to digest this proposal from the concept point of view to where we are now,” Mattimore said. “I think it’s sort of exciting that Islip is on the cutting-edge of trying new things and new housing stock, which we often hear is necessary and required for our various hamlets to flourish. It fits in with general planning; being as close to the shopping area of East Islip as it is, that helps to confirm that this is a good idea.”

In the past, residents have proposed placing a traffic light near the site to avoid traffic congestion. Colgan said implementing a light would fall under the jurisdiction of the New York State Department of Transportation. A potential traffic signal was not addressed in the study, Colgan said.

Vice chairman Kevin Brown and board member Michael Moriarty agreed that the board should consider contacting the NYSDOT to discuss implementing a light.

“It’s not to say that I think that this project will generate an overwhelming amount of traffic,” Moriarty said. “But it might be a way to mitigate some of the concerns raised by the community if we can couple this project with a traffic light at the top of that street.”

Gargano noted that community members are capable of petitioning NYSDOT to conduct a traffic study themselves.

“I was told that, in the past, there were some concerns about a traffic light, that it might actually cause more problems than it would solve, in terms of a variety of different conditions relevant to having a traffic signal,” Gargano said.

Gargano said his team would be willing to partner with NYSDOT to consider how a light would benefit the community.

A decision was reserved by the board with the intention of giving staff additional time to examine the need for a traffic light near the site and work with the applicant to mitigate traffic concerns raised by the public. Chairman Edward Friedland recused himself from the vote.

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