Three members of the Huntington Town Board plan to propose allowing basement apartments in owner-occupied houses at the board’s next meeting.
Update: Council members Sal Ferro, Dr. Dave Bennardo and Joan Cergol are cosponsoring a resolution to schedule a public hearing that would allow basement units under the town’s accessory apartment code.
In 2019, the board banned new basement apartments though existing units were allowed to remain in place. The move was one of several changes to the code at the tme.
Ferro said that basement apartments would help relieve complaints about the shortage of available rentals and would encourage homeowners to legalize what is widely believed to be many illegal units that already exist.
Appliants would have to meet several safety requirements, such as adequate exits, smoke detectors, ventilation and more, as do other accessory apartments.
Ferro said that, after consultations with fire chiefs, the resolution would take the process a step further, requiring that local fire departments be notified of extra apartments, ensuring that first responders know about the units when answering an emergeny call.
The town Public Safety department lays out the many steps required to apply and win approval for an apartment, including a sentence including “allowing inspections of the premises to determine the condition of the dwelling, and all other structures, so as to safeguard the health, safety, morals and welfare of the public.”app