Two weeks after an advertisement for an indoor riding academy in Mattituck created a stir at a Southold Town Planning Board meeting, a site plan application for a different indoor riding facility in the hamlet is now before the board. And this one could eventually be surrounded by a number of custom built homes.
Royalton Farms is located on a prominent 37-acre Cox Neck Road estate — the former home of Long Island Aquarium co-founder Jim Bissett. The property —which features a 14,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom house, Motocross track and indoor/outdoor pool — was purchased for $4 million in January.
The new owner wants to construct a 28,800-square-foot indoor riding ring, according to the site plan filed Aug. 5 with the Southold Town planning department. The 20-stall horse barn and farm on the site was previously leased to a different horse trainer.
The site plan was submitted by Dr. Daniel Ferrara, a physician who runs a home visiting service in Hauppauge, and property manager Steve Libretto of Mattituck. The plan, which will be reviewed by the Planning Board during a 4 p.m. work session today, Monday, Aug. 18, calls for the riding ring to be constructed on the northeast portion of the property.
According to an article in the May issue of Today’s Equestrian, Royalton Farms will feature a grand prix course and hunter derby field, along with the indoor arena. A number of homes could also be built there, the article states.
“Royalton Farms will be the cornerstone of the Royalton Equestrian Estate,” the article reads. “This unique facility will feature a number of private built homes surrounding a magnificently appointed equestrian estate.”
But Mr. Libretto said it’s important to note that equestrian activities are a previous use of the property and the plan to build additional homes there is “nothing more than a pipe dream of things we would like there” at this point.
“Nothing is changing other than the addition of the riding ring,” he said, adding that the ring would allow for year-round riding on the property.
Mr. Libretto said the only horses currently housed at the estate belong to the property owner. In the future, only clients who board their horses on the property will be allowed to use the facility, he said.
“This is not going to be a riding academy,” he said. “This will not be a facility where someone can show up and say my daughter Sally wants to learn to ride horses.”
Mr. Libretto said Royalton Farms’ proposal is different than the controversial Showalter Farms proposal on Main Road, since the Cox Neck Road property was already being used as an equestrian facility. Showalter Farms will be back before the Planning Board at its next regular meeting on Sept. 8.