Letter: Melville Overlay District Plan Is Ill-Conceived

To the Editor,
As a Huntington resident and a former town councilman, I am compelled to write this Letter to the Editor about my concerns regarding the proposed Melville Town Center Overlay District.

I feel compelled to point out the expertise to study such an undertaking does not exist anywhere in Town government. How could anyone hope to develop a plan without first studying the environmental aspects, information and then seeking advice from professional suburban planners?

Sadly, the preconceived notion that is currently being proposed, after years behind closed doors, by people who don’t have the expertise, is not only ill advised, but also illegal.

Furthermore, the opinion that office space is no longer needed/wanted is not only premature, it very well might be a big mistake.

Comprehensive research conducted by the Microsoft Corporation post COVID, stresses the importance of office experience. “Given that collaborating with new people is linked to learning new knowledge, these results indicate that WFH may make it harder for organizations to innovate.”

With office space in that corridor currently running in the 90’s per cent occupancy, why would any leader describe such a use as “a blighted, crime ridden, tax hole?” Some studies say new and innovative office structures may be the gold for communities with enough insight.

I suspect that some in Town government may be genuinely desirous of what they call a “walkable town”. Maybe so. However, let’s leave it up to the professionals to study this. There needs to be a meeting with public involvement, as is demanded by governing law.

This proposal is so ill conceived, that the Town Board scheduled an unprecedented “emergency” meeting on March 27th to amend the Resolution. During this solemn and celebratory week of family gatherings for many of our fine citizens, the Board’s timing is almost without conscience.

As a Town Board member who left office, just a few months ago on December 31st, 2023 I know at that time there had been NO Environmental Impact Studies done. Each Town Resident and Suffolk County tax payer should know that the area requires a Master Plan, this must be studied by outside professionals, and these are requirements under the law.

The drastic effect of amassing potentially tens of thousands of residences without understanding the impact, seems to suggest an atmosphere of cronyism. Huntington deserves better, it certainly deserves the benefit of the law.

The fact that thousands of apartments could be added to Melville will have a major negative impact on not only Melville, Huntington and Suffolk County as well. I will not vote for anyone of our Town Board members, if they vote “yes” for this underhanded proposal to change Melville.

Board OKs Melville Hearings, but Lupinacci Splits in Opposition

Town Board Calls Special Meeting on Melville Resolutions

Claim That Town ‘Could’ Build 40,000 Apartments Isn’t in Town Plans


Board Rejects Overlay District in Melville

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