Huntington Councilman Gene Cook will propose changes Wednesday in how public hearings are scheduled on proposals for zone changes or town code amendments.
Large development projects, such as that proposed recently for Greenlawn, before it was withdrawn last week, often draw large crowds, most often opponents to the plan. If large crowds are expected, the board sometimes moves the entire meeting to another site, such as the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School, to accommodate the crowds.
Even though developer Engel Burman announced that it was adjourning its request, meaning it wouldn’t be heard this week, the meeting will go on at Abrams because legal notices about the location had already gone out.
Cook said, “These hearings have grown in attendance with public participation over the last few years, necessitating the change of location due to occupancy limitations. This amendment will solidify that the Town Board use their discretion to address this need while ensuring the location be centered in the area to be impacted by the proposed zone change or town code amendment prior to scheduling the hearing. This will also give the Town Board, the discretion to hold the public hearing on a night where no other town business is performed.”
“If an issue is in Greenlawn, the hearing needs to be somewhere near there, such as Harborfields High School,” he said.
The withdrawn Engel Burman plan involved a proposal to build 260 apartments on land next door to that high school.