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Island Water Park wins final site plan approval from City Council, expects Memorial Day opening

By February 3, 2022February 5th, 2022Site plan

Island Water Park got final approval for its amended site plan at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The developer of the sports and recreation facility on Middle Country Road in Calverton won site plan approval in March 2013, but Island Water Park owner Eric Scott came to town in 2020 with revised plans for the site.

The new approval allows for a change in use of an already constructed warehouse building as an indoor recreational facility. Use of the 20-acre man-made lakes on site, originally intended for traditional water skiing, is now limited to a tow rope system and the use of non-motorized water sports including canoes, kayaks, rental sailboats and electric personal watercraft.

The park will also include an inflatable water park on the lake which is “the largest in the world”, Island Water Park’s Ken Meyers told the IDA board during a hearing in November. It will be a major tourist attraction, Meyers said.

Scott today confirmed the water park plan, which he said cost Island Water Park $2 million. He said the site plan condition prohibiting “additional structures or devices…constructed or placed in the lake” does not prohibit the water park because it is “temporary” and not a “structure”.

Riverhead planner Greg Bergman confirmed that determination. The limitation in site plan approval is intended to restrict lake use to “non-motorized sports,” Bergman said in a telephone interview today.

Island Water Park’s indoor recreation facility will include a surf pool, rock climbing walls, volleyball courts, obstacle course and other indoor entertainment, as well as a fitness center , a spa, pro shop and restaurants, according to documents filed with the city. 360 parking spaces will be provided on the site.

Scott said in a phone interview today that his intention was to have the park open by Memorial Day. “We were hoping for March or April, but things have moved a little slower than expected,” he said, referring to “bumps in the road along the way.”

The city slapped Island Water Park with a stop work order in November, alleging the developer was carrying out construction work on the site without site plan approval or building permits. Jefferson Murphree, building and planning administrator. Murphree said the developer carried out grading and drainage work and interior construction by pouring concrete for an indoor wave pool without a permit.

Everything has been rectified, Scott said today. “A Memorial Day opening is realistic.”

Scott also said property tax arrears of more than $182,000 would be paid. He said he had hoped the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency, which provided a 10-year property tax abatement for the project, would make the abatement retroactive, but IDA refused to do so.

The park is expected to attract 900,000 visitors a year, according to an economic impact analysis prepared for the applicant and filed with IDA.

“Everyone is going to love us,” Scott said today. “It will be a fun place to visit,” he said. “There is nothing like it and there is very little for children to do.”

Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, who billed the facility as a “mini Disneyland” that will bring jobs and tourist dollars to the town of Riverhead, said in an interview today that she wished “good luck at Island Water Park.

“This project had been in the making for 22 years,” Aguiar said. “It took several different directions. I don’t own what happened there before. When I took over I was open-minded, looked into it and worked to try to resolve any issues they had in the past,” she said.

“Hopefully they keep the promises they made to the community, like making sure no sand is removed, everything is built to the site plan, and residents of Riverhead will get a discount. “, said Aguiar. .

Scott expressed his gratitude to City Council for the approvals. “I’m super happy with the new board,” he said today. “They don’t throw obstacles in front of us every step of the way.”

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