Planning board OKs surf park in Shirley
The Town of Brookhaven Planning Board is moving forward with a proposal for Long Island Surf Park to occupy a space in Shirley. It would be the first of its kind on Long Island, the company claims.
The proposed plan would convert a 3.49-acre lot in an industrial area to a recreational surfing facility. The lot is between Ramsey Road and Precision Drive, adjacent to Atlantic Industrial Technologies. It would include a 1.5-acre pool, which is the equivalent of 67,511 square feet, and would be 254 by 250 feet. There would be an accessory clubhouse, two stories totaling 7,278 feet, with a restaurant inside.
As part of an agreement, since the lot is in the Central Pine Barrens region, 35 percent of the property would be “undisturbed” during and after development, according to the applicant. The pool would have an artificial wave of 7 to 8 feet to simulate surfing conditions. The applicant said the pool is open year-round, seven days a week, and in almost all weather conditions. The only weather exceptions would be if there is lightning or the temperature goes below 20 degrees. There is also a three-to four-week period each year when the pool is drained and refilled, as required by county law. It is also only open from sunrise to sundown, as there will not be supplemental lighting. Similar to a nonsurfing wave pool, the entrance point starts at ground level and gets progressively deeper. The deepest point is at 10 feet, and the entire pool will hold about 2 million gallons of water. At peak hours, the facility will have seven employees on duty, including two lifeguards, staff at the snack bar, maintenance and management.
A maximum of 10 surfers can use the pool at any time. Sessions are sold at one hour, with a 50-minute surf time and 10 minutes to change to the next group. There is a setup for limited memberships or just open surfing time. Memberships include different levels of access to the surf pool and amenities, but prices have not yet been announced.
Inside the clubhouse there will be men’s and women’s locker rooms, a surf shop, and other storage areas. The second floor will house the restaurant with balcony seating at 45 seats total. However, the applicant said the restaurant is “primarily for the surfers and their guests” and would not be open to the public.
A representative from NatCon Realty, an adjacent business to the proposed surf park, was the only person to speak during the public hearing on June 17. She expressed concerns from the surrounding businesses about parking issues, especially on the weekends, when there would likely be overflow. There are 31 spots at the facility, but the applicant expressed that there may be competitions throughout the year, which bring many more to the property. There was also concern for the security and safety of the businesses, mainly on the weekends when they are empty, as well as increased traffic on Ramsey Road. The applicant said if an agreement for parking could not be made, they would not host the competitions.
The construction is expected to cost around $10 million and take two years to complete.