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Stonebridge Country Club Hopes to Expand Its Catering Facilities

Development residents split on whether catering would cause traffic, parking problems.

A Smithtown country club is looking to expand its catering facilities in hopes of drawing more in more events and visitors. 

Stonebridge Country Club went before the Town of Smithtown's Board of Zoning Appeals on Tuesday night seeking variances to build a 2,622-square-foot addition onto its clubhouse and increase its parking for future events. 

Donald King, an attorney representing Carlyle Stonebridge, said the company hopes to add 2,200-square-foot addition to its ballroom to have space for larger catered events and convert a 400-square-foot covered loading area into an enclosed storage space for the facilities. Currently, it exist as a mixed use restaurant and catering facility.

"The success of something there is very important as currently we know its not doing very well," said Louse De Benedittis, a residents of the Stonebridge residential development.

Peter Hans, a senior planner for the Town of Smithtown, said they had some concerns regarding Carlyle Stonebridge's plans to ad 100 parking stalls.

"We have no objection to what they are proposing for the building. The 10 new parking stalls, the first proposal seemed to be at the expense of the residents," Hans read from a report.

The town planning department suggested that a 10-foot berm be installed on the side of the parking lot closest to the houses. King said revised plans have been submitted that reduce the additional parking to 88 stalls, and the plans has been reviewed with the local homeowner's association.

"The Town was suggesting a 10-foot-tall berm, which would residents were concerned would block their view of the western sky and golf course," King said.

The homeowners association and planners reached have reached a compromise of a 5-foot earthen berm planted with conifer trees to help block noise and sight of the parking lot. 

However, one resident said he fears a catering facility will cause traffic problems within the development.

"By enlarging a catering hall, or making it a catering hall solely for events and affairs, I anticipate not being able to get to my home," said Robert Weiner, a homeowner on Redan Drive. 

Weiner said the main access to the development is a narrow road with a single lane in each direction, leading in off Route 347, that passes the clubhouse before reaching the residences. Weiner said he fears the roadway will backup with traffic as patrons arrive in a short time frame before events hosted at the catering facility. 

King said for events of a certain size, or larger, Carlyle Stonebridge promises to use a valet parking system to keep things flowing smoothly. 

The Board of Zoning Appeals did not rule on the matter, as environmental review for a SEQRA has not been completed. It will vote on Stonebridge's expansion plans at a later date. 

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