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Smithtown Town Board to Vote on Whisper Landing Proposal

Proposal for three-story skilled nursing facility faces crucial decision on Tuesday.

Aerial view of plans for the proposed Whisper Landing on Route 25a in Smithtown.
Aerial view of plans for the proposed Whisper Landing on Route 25a in Smithtown.
Smithtown Town Board will vote on Tuesday afternoon on the findings of an environmental review for the proposed Whisper Landing and zoning permits its needs to move forward. 

Smithtown elected officials are set to vote on whether to approve a negative State Quality Review Act stating the proposed 136-bed skilled nursing facility, in which they must consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of the project. 

St. Johnland Development Group's application to build a 99,000-square-foot, three-story skilled nursing facility on the northeast corner of Route 25A and River Heights Drive in Smithtown has raised traffic and environmental concerns among residents in September 2012 and its June 2013 Board of Zoning Appeals hearing.

"There’s no doubt that assisted living facilities are useful, that’s not in question here. It’s a matter of whether or not it’s appropriate for that location," said Kristie Golden, a Smithtown resident. 

Meanwhile, Smithtown resident Bill Kearney, a homeowner of Route 25A, said he fears the environmental impact of the proposed senior housing project.

"Every time it rains and every time the snow melts, we deal with flooding, erosion and dirt coming down from the massive hills they want to cut into. This is a disaster waiting to happen," Kearney said. 

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said St. Johnland made extensive changes to the proposed plans for Whisper Landing, including lowering the height of the buildings, sewage treatment plan, buffer areas and layout, since the public hearings. 

These changes include plans to lower the buildings height, from the first proposal of 49 feet to 35 feet, and connect into the Kings Park Sewage Treatment plant rather than build their own sewage system. 

"If I were a resident who was opposed to this, I would want to know ultimately what the building would look like and how it would affect me. If it allays my fears I had at the public hearing, that would be wonderful," Vecchio said.

However, the town board voted 3-2 in November against holding a second public hearing on the Whisper Landing application. 

St. Johnlands has also filed a lawsuit in September against the town board and Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals alleging they failed to make a decision on the special exception permit within the time period specified under town code. 

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