At the Town of Islip Planning Board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 30, a presentation was made by Safeguard Self Storage in conjunction with an application for a zone change on two parcels of land at 246 N. Main Street in Sayville, where a now vacant sports-complex building stands.
The properties are currently zoned B1 (for business including restaurants, office space) and Safeguard Self Storage is requesting a change to I1 (industrial).
Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce president Eileen Tyznar, Sayville Civic Association president Christine Sarni, and Greater Islip association executive assistant John Tafe, all spoke during the public portion of the meeting, expressing their opposition to the zone change and questioning the added value of a self-storage facility in Sayville, citing the 2-mile-radius proximity of at least three other existing/proposed self-storage businesses.
“[The presentation] was a sharp contradiction to what was said [by Safeguard] during a meeting with the chamber and civic groups,” said Tyznar.
While Stan Bonilla, vice president of development for Safeguard, answered he would be more than willing to enter into a covenant to preclude future developers should the property be sold to utilize the industrial zoning for less-savory businesses, Tyznar expressed her concern with covenants being challenged or overturned.
“Every single business owner on Main Street is against the zone change; we do not want business districts to be shortened,” Tyznar continued.
Another main point of contention was the proposed site plan’s Floor Area Ratio (FAR), which would rise from a current 42 percent to a whopping 154 percent.
Steve Burton, a local business owner opposed to the zone change, made this the sole point of his address to the planning board, contrasting the significantly raised FAR with residential FAR, that even when expanded, is well under 40 percent.
Tafe reaffirmed the points of previous speakers, adding that the current building height of the proposed facility is over 19 feet and was concerning, as it is next to a residential area.
One resident of Hanson Avenue spoke in non-opposition to the Safeguard proposal, stating, “There are green spaces; it does not impact the traffic. Doesn’t impact environment that much. Don’t see why it shouldn’t be approved.”
The resident did express concern about possible in-person auctions, yard sales, and heavy traffic, should a storage unit be liquidated.
“ ‘Storage Wars’ is fiction,” Bonilla said, explaining when a storage facility is auctioned off, all the bidding is done online and would not present a frenzied atmosphere to the space.