UPDATE: Town deems Island Hills zone change DEIS ‘incomplete’



Gregg Rechler, co-managing partner of Rechler Equity Partners, said the
 actions taken by the Town in review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement are "an expected part of the process." 

"The 'incomplete' determination was based on the Town's request for additional information. We have since compiled our comprehensive responses and have submitted them for the Town and its consultants to review,"  Rechler said.

The original story is below:

Islip Town officials have determined the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Rechler Equity Company’s proposed zone change for the development on the former Island Hills Golf Course in Sayville is incomplete.

At the May 18 Islip Town Board meeting, council members unanimously approved a resolution that deems Greybarn Sayville's DEIS for their proposed action “inadequate with respect to scope and content for the purpose of commencing public review pursuant to 6 NYCRR §617.9.”

In 2017, Rechler applied for a zone change from Residential District to a Planned Development District to create apartment units on the property located on Lakeland Avenue in Sayville.

The current plan proposes 19 residential buildings ranging in height from 45 to 55 feet, according to the Greybarn Sayville website. The perimeter of the property is designed as a “25-acre park or greenbelt”, complete with landscaping, bike and walking paths, and more that would be shared with the community.

Islip Town in 2017 took the role of lead agency under the State Environmental Quality Review Act for the purpose of environmental oversight of the property. They determined an EIS was necessary. This year, the Town authorized VHB Engineering, Surveying, Landscape Architecture, and Geology P.C. to provide SEQRA administration and support services to the Town Board. 

On April 6, the Town Department of Planning and Development and VHB reviewed the DEIS and recommended the Town Board “require revisions” to the document prior to accepting it as complete or adequate for the purpose of public review. By April 20, the Town received a revised DEIS from Rechler's team.

The resolution stated: “the project sponsor has submitted a revised Draft EIS which addresses many of the deficiencies identified by the Town in prior submissions, but there are several deficiencies which remain.”

Now, the Town is directing the Rechler team to “address the written list of deficiencies set forth in the April 30 review and comment letter by VHB and to resubmit a revised version of the Draft EIS to the Town when all the deficiencies have been corrected.”

On April 20, members of the Greater Islip Association gathered at the Baymen Soccer Fields in protest of Rechler’s proposed zone change on the property. The group, which has been vocal about the zone change, told Suffolk County News that they had obtained a portion of the DEIS documents after submitting a Freedom of Information Law request. 

Immediately after the resolution’s approval last Tuesday, Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter noted the Town’s effort to roll out information about the SEQRA process. The Town recently produced a guide on SEQRA, which is expected to be shared on the Town's website in the future, Carpenter said.

“It can be very confusing,” Carpenter said of the SEQRA process, “and this lays it out step-by-step. … SEQRA really gives the community, the public, the opportunity to be involved and engaged in applications and can help form a project by participating.”

Rechler Equity Company was not immediately available for comment Thursday morning. 


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