Sunrise Senior Living and the owners of a Bay Shore seminary have filed a lawsuit against the Town of Islip for the town board’s refusal to hold a public hearing on a proposed assisted living facility. 

Attorney Alfred Amato, of Garden City-based Amato Law Group, who represents McLean, Va.-based Sunrise, had sent multiple requests to Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter and members of Islip’s town board to schedule a public hearing on the developer’s proposal to build a 90-unit assisted living facility on a 7.5-acre portion of the 13.8-acre Montfort Spiritual Center property on South Saxon Avenue owned by Missionaries of the Company of Mary, according to the Article 78 lawsuit. 

However, the town board did not respond to the requests and did not schedule the requested public hearing on a required zoning change for the proposed project, prompting the developer and property owner to file the lawsuit in Suffolk County Supreme Court on Monday. 

Sunrise’s proposal is a scaled-down version of its original Bay Shore plan that was pitched nearly four years ago. In Dec. 2021, the developer applied to the town for a change in zone for the 7.5 acres from Residential AAA to Residential C to accommodate the new proposal, which has less than half as many units. But the application was rejected by the town’s planning board in Sept. 2022 after it held two public hearings at which local residents voiced opposition to the project. 

Despite the planning board’s recommendation to deny the change of zone, the lawsuit claims that only the town board has the authority to enact the zoning change and is not beholden to any recommendation from its planning board. The lawsuit adds that the town code states that the town board “shall” fix the time and place of a public hearing on a proposed change of zone. 

In responding to a request for comment on the lawsuit, a town spokesperson said, “It’s the town’s policy not to comment on pending litigation.”  

A court hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Thursday, April 20. 


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