More outdoor space, smaller building planned for Sports East

Sports East

A revised site plan application for Sports East has been filed featuring a downsized indoor athletic facility and additional outdoor spaces in order to become more in line with Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals requirements, according to the developer.

The modified plans filed Thursday include an 82,000-square-foot building on Main Road in Mattituck, giving way for primarily outdoor use, property owner Paul Pawlowski said in an interview Friday.

“The last application,” Mr. Pawlowski explained, “our indoor square footage outweighed our outdoor square footage as far as sports usage. We reversed that.”

The proposed outdoor amenities include a synthetic multi-sport field, five tennis courts, golf and walking trails, he said, adding the indoor facility still includes tennis, a pool, gym and food service.

On Dec. 8, the ZBA found that because the previously proposed 144,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility would take up more of the property than outdoor fields, the plans did not adhere to stipulations for a “membership club.” The ZBA also decided the Sport East plan is more of a “commercial recreational facility,” which is not allowed in the R-80 zoning use district. A membership club is, however, allowed in that zoning with a special use exception permit.

[Related story: Planning process questioned after Sports East sent back to drawing board]

Sports East’s proposed outdoor athletic space has now increased to about 200,000-square-feet on the nearly 21-acre wooded lot and walking trails provides the developers a way to meet the town’s requirement while still leaving much of the land preserved, Mr. Pawlowski said.

“We’re going to utilize a little more space, but we’re still going to have more than half the property in preservation,” he said. “All along, we wanted to be within the code. We realized the code said outdoor sports, but never gave a percentage of outdoor versus indoor. There’s no math in the code.”

The amended application now under review by the ZBA and will also need site plan approval from the Planning Board.

[email protected]

File photo: Paul Pawlowski, left, at a Southold Planning Board meeting in January. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)