Date corrected: A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 12 on a zoning change that would permit the building of 260 residential units on a property in Greenlawn.
If approved, the homes would be built on the site of the closed Greenlawn Equestrian Center, opposite Greenlawn Plaza and next door to St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church. Developer Engel Burman is seeking a zoning change from single-family residential to garden apartments, increasing the number of permitted units from 19 single-family houses to 260 units.
The Town Board approved the public hearing Tuesday night, on a vote of 3-2, with Council members Sal Ferro, Dr. Dave Bennardo and Joan Cergol in favor, and Supervisor Ed Smyth and Councilman Gene Cook opposed.
Bennardo said he approved of having the hearing so that the public could be heard on the issue.
Opponents of new housing developments often cite the impact of more students overloading schools, among other objections.
But the developer told Newsday that enrollment in the Harborfields school district is declining. And Bennardo, who was formerly principal of Harborfields High School before becoming superintendent of the South Huntington district 10 years ago, said the same thing about shrinking enrollment.
“We really have a responsibility to put up a public hearing,” Bennardo said. “I don’t know if I will ultimately favor the project but something has to be done outside the box of one-acre zoning. Schools are down; there are empty stores across the street.”