The Smithtown Town Board will hear at its May 23 meeting a request for special exception to allow the construction of a 130-room hotel at the Watermill Caterers’ catering hall on the southeast corner of Route 347 and Terry Road.
The site is currently zoned for industrial and neighborhood business and will need to be granted the special permission for a hotel, according to Allyson Murray, principal planner in the town’s Planning Department.
The project’s size, height, parking and traffic are issues that board members will evaluate.
Ultimately, the board will either approve or deny the project, or ask the applicant to modify the plans. But the Planning Department expects the meeting to be a hearing, where the public speaks.
“Residents can rest assured that the Town Board has been working closely with our Planning Department on this prospective plan,” town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) said. “We’ll be meeting with the attorneys for the project Friday, May 17, to go over the proposal that was submitted for the project.”
Watermill and the new hotel is owned by Anthony Scotto Restaurants, the same organization that runs Insignia restaurant in Smithtown and Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville, among other high-end hospitality and food service establishments.
The proposal will allow its catering hall guests, which are often out-of-town wedding guests, the option to spend the night there.
Nicole Garguilo, the town’s press officer said that the hotel idea could potentially become a benefit to local businesses and turn into significant tax revenue for the community.
Donald King, lawyer for the proposed hotel from Kings Park, said that he is happy to meet with residents and experts in the nearby communities, if necessary, to answer their questions.
The applicant submitted site plans in November 2018 following a Planning Board review in April 2018. The board found the application to be out of compliance with a range of standards.
“Before the plan is approved, the project would need to comply with all standards,” Murray said. “Or else the applicant could request Zoning Board Appeals approval.”
The Town Board will not be able to approve the plan on May 23, because no State Environmental Quality Review Act analysis has yet been conducted, Murray added.