SAYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Protests are mounting from people against plans for a $500 million apartment complex on Long Island, but some experts say affordable rentals are badly needed.

CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan spoke with Sayville homeowners who say the plan for 1,300 apartments is extreme. Brian Kell is disheartened with plans to develop the land across the street from his home.

The former Island Hills Golf Course is closed and has been sold. It sits on 114 acres in the midst of a residential community.

So what’s the new owner’s proposal?

“365 homes, all apartments, it’s really the scale of the project that concerns us,” Kell said. “If you have two and a half people per apartment, the density in this area would match that of Queens.”

Rechler Equity Partners hopes to attract “unapologetically suburban renters” as it has in Amityville, where Graybarn offers swimming pools, community spaces, a 7-11, a Starbucks, and more. Tenant rentals are equally split between millennials and empty-nesters.

The Long Island Builders Institute says that it’s a necessity for Long Island.

“It fulfills the need for affordable rentals for our young people starting out,” Mitch Pally said. “It provides the market rates needed for our seniors who want to give up their single-family home but still stay on Long Island.”

But the two-lane Lakeland Avenue in Sayville is a far cry from busy Route 110 where Graybarn is located, and the thought of adding a thousand cars to the former is raising concerns.

“People need rentals, people who can’t afford a house. It’s just that the project itself is too dense for this neighborhood,” homeowner Janet Kowal said.

Thousands have signed petitions and protests continue. Meanwhile, the local Bohemia Civic Association will be holding a public hearing Wednesday night on the proposed complex, with hundreds of people expected to attend from both sides.

Developers tell CBS2 they’re committed to a comprehensive planning and review, working with residents and the Town of Islip on an environmental impact study.

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