Senior townhomes approved

Senior townhomes approved


BAYPORT—One of the public hearing items discussed during last week’s planning board meeting pertained to Bayport Gardens, a proposed rental community on the south side of Sunrise Highway and Rajon Road.

Eugene DeNicola, a Sayville-based attorney, spoke on behalf of the project, which is being headed by The Northwind Group. DeNicola requested a zoning change from Business 1 and Industrial 1 districts to Residence C district in order to construct 30 senior town homes on a 10-acre parcel.

DeNicola said the development would not have cesspools or an onsite sewer treatment plant. It would instead be serviced by the public sewer system. The developer’s representative added that the project would consist of six buildings, with parking in front of the units. The size of the units will be approximately 1,500 square feet, he added. 

The site will also have a clubhouse for activities and meetings pertaining to the residents, all of who will be 55 years or older. The property will have approximately 86,000 square feet of landscape, accounting for 53 percent of the site. The site requires 60 parking stalls, but the applicant is providing 72. Maintenance to the parking will be up to the homeowner’s association, not Suffolk County. 

The Northwind Group’s website also states that Bayport Gardens would serve as a “smart alternative to the approved 170,000 square feet of retail space by offering less traffic and a more pleasing appearance to Sunrise Highway.”  

There were only two speakers during the public portion. The first was Bob Draffin, president of the Bayport Civic Association. Draffin stated that he was in support of the application. He said he has been following plans for the property since 2004. “To put things in perspective, Pete McGowen was [Islip Town] supervisor back then,” he said, adding that the property was once sold to the Lowe’s Corporation. “That went over like a lead balloon.” 

The property has since been bought back by the current applicant. Draffin continued with the history of the property, saying that in 2013, there was a proposal to put over 50 apartment units between McConnell Avenue and Oakwood Avenue. “That was even less favorable,” he said. 

The development has hit multiple road bumps over the years, one of which was when the planning board reserved a decision on the same application. This publication covered that meeting in “Bayport apartments on hold,” on Apr. 27, 2017. 

According to these previous reports, the market value apartments would go for $2,200 per month, while the affordable units would go for $1,600 per month. 

The other person who spoke last week was Rick Berman, a Holbrook resident who hopes to move into the proposed development. “This makes the most sense,” Berman said, adding that a career in Social Security added to his decision.

“I’ve worked with seniors extensively,” he said, adding that over the years one of the biggest concerns he’s heard among seniors on Long Island is the lack of affordable housing. “This would be a great step in the right direction.” 

Berman said that up the road on Sunrise Highway, a similar condo development in Brookhaven Town quickly sold out all its affordable housing units. “I’m sure this will also,” he added. 

The planning board ultimately approved the application, which will go before the Islip Town Board for approval at a later date.