One of the common rebuttals affordable housing advocates hear from people in Huntington Town Hall is “there’s no land to build on”. It’s patently not true, as recent events have shown.
There is land available if you choose to see it.
First off, there is the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception on West Neck Road. The Archdiocese needs to sell it due to its various legal troubles, and the original plan was for the county, state, and town to buy it to turn it into a park. That deal has fallen through and now Lloyd Harbor village is looking to
buy 20 of the 216 acres, the state is looking to buy 180 acres, with the diocese to keep 16 acres.
It is a beautiful property and will make a lovely park, only a short bicycle ride from my house. But it is also only 1.3 miles from Caumsett State Park’s 1500 acres of parkland. It doesn’t take much creative thought to suggest that maybe we could spare 10-20 acres of the seminary land to build some
apartments to create a little relief in our housing crisis.
Another good place to look for land is in candidate flyers. As the election draws near, candidate flyers are identifying all the locations they will fight against the building of apartments: at Villadom, at Schneider’s Farm, at Park Shore. The town has already lost one Supreme Court case for putting all the
affordable housing in one part of town, and so we need to spread it out. Dix Hills and other areas need to shoulder some of the load. Candidates should not just tell us NO building; they should tell us HOW they plan to solve our housing crisis.
Of course housing on the seminary is very unlikely because the land is surrounded by very well-heeled multi-acre lot landowners who will likely sue into oblivion anyone who suggests building there. It would be nice if they volunteered to take their share of the housing burden, though.
Many of the Dix Hills locations are different. One is located on Jericho Turnpike, which can handle the load. Another is on a part of Deer Park Avenue that is four lanes wide, and which is full of businesses and religious buildings, in addition to a school. Building in these locations will not change the character of the neighborhood. It’s time Dix Hills stepped up and did their share.
As these examples show, there are places within the town of Huntington where we can act to alleviate our housing crisis. We just have to look with an eye to solving problems, not an eye for preserving the town in amber.