A plan to create an industrial overlay district in Melville to allow a mix of retail and housing was voted down Tuesday night by the Huntington Town Board.
The vote was 3-2, with Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci as sponsor, and Councilman Mark Cuthbertson voting for it, and Gene Cook, Ed Smyth and Joan Cergol voting no.
A few speakers and letter writers, opposed the idea, saying they could be affected by the plan but weren’t consulted or objected to public hearings and the vote being scheduled for the same day, the last meeting of the year, and with two new council members joining the board in the new year. The Melville Fire Department, which frequently cites the number of calls it responds to, said it feared having to deal with more calls. And the Half Hollow Hills school district said that while it wasn’t necessarily opposed to the plan, objected to the public hearings and vote scheduled at the same time.
The overlay district vote would have allowed for developers to put forth plans, but was not a vote to approve any project. Any submitted plan would have had to go through the entire approval process.
Some Melville residents had been discussing plans for under-used corporate offices to be converted to a mix of apartments, retail and other uses as an alternative use to allowing more warehouses to be built in the community.