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Re: 20 Sunken Meadow Rd. (old Charlie Murphy rehab location).   
Letter from the FSA to Town of Smithtown officials 

Ft. Salonga Association

1019 Ft. Salonga Rd.

Ste. 10 - 170

Northport NY 11768


To: Town of Smithtown

Zoning Board of Appeals

Dec. 1, 2021

Re: 20 Sunken Meadow Rd.   Ft. Salonga 

Good day;

It has been brought to our attention that the new owners at the above address have applied for a “Certificate of Existing Use” before the ZBA to approve a proposal to operate an addiction facility, hoping to grandfather-in the use associated with the previous owner’s closed business which closed nearly 6 years ago.  Applications for Certifications of Existing Use are to be rendered “stale” after a year has passed since the use of the property ceased.  Also, the prior owner was a not-for profit corporation – the current applicant wants to convert the property to a for-profitrehabilitation center.  This change of use completely contradicts the not-for profit use of the prior applicant.  Based on these procedural facts alone, the applicant’s request must be denied.   

In addition, the applicant has also overreached in its request for an expansion.   The prior not-for-profit operation housed 25-30 beds.  The for-profit applicant herein has incredibly requested that the facility’s bed count be expanded by 100% to 50 beds. This request has been made without any input from the community.  Most residents have no clue that the applicant wants to double the size of the operation.  A request of this nature, without meeting with the community is an assault on a residentially zoned neighborhood.   This Board cannot possibly agree that a 50 bed facility is proper for this location. Moreover, this Board cannot agree that a certificate of existing use application is the proper procedural vehicle for such a request.  The Fort Salonga Community firmly requests that this Board deny the applicant’s request on these grounds.  No applicant should be able to file such a dominimus application in exchange for a 100% increase in bed yield.  

Finally, to save on presenting a long-winded letter, I will list several objections utilizing bullet-points.

  • Proximity to Ft. Salonga Elementary School (approx. 1,000 ft)

  • Current concentration of group homes in Ft. Salonga (at least 2 others within 1 mile and 3 within 1.5 miles) 

    • Contrary to current acceptable NYS Mental Hygiene Law 

    • By allowing would severely alter the character of our hamlet, more than it already has

  • Traffic issues already exist on Sunken Meadow Rd.

    • VA traffic (6+ shift changes/day alone) is already driving Sunken Meadow Rd. an unsafe roadway

    • With number of beds doubling, number of health workers/facility staff would need to increase 

    • With the advent of (eg.) Uber Eats, traffic would increase exponentially, 24 hours a day

  • Stress on Smithtown Municipal and Emergency Services

    • Kings Park Fire Dept. already responds to numerous calls, almost daily to multiple smaller group homes within their coverage area, not including the facilities at St. Johnland

  • Stress on the Groundwater, Waterways and Septic Systems – A facility of this size would require a massive septic facility. We are not aware of any proposal to increase the size of the current septic system to facilitate expansion of number of beds

  • Previous owner (Charlie Murphy) operated a facility prior to the existence of zoning laws.  A use of this type in the year 2021 cannot be granted using the laws prior to 1950 

  • Health regulations have changed substantially since operation of previous owner

  • Proposed facility would be operated as a for-profit operation

    • Would allow for a flip / sale to an out-of-state operation or conglomerate once established

      • Out-of-state operators typically don’t give a damn about the communities they operate in

  • Neighbors of Charlie Murphy operation had numerous issues with trespassing, loitering, residents urinating on their property, littering of fast food garbage and empty bottles, etc.

As a result of the foregoing, the Fort Salonga Association requests that the ZBA disallow this application and stop this operation from ever opening.  This applicant should be required to go through the same processes as any other land-use applicant in the Town of Smithtown.  Since the Certificate of Existing Use period has lapsed by over 5 years, we submit that the application is stale and that there is no avenue for the ZBA to approve this.  


Keith S. Macartney


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