Residents Speak Out on Melville Proposals

  • Councilman Sal Ferro listens during public hearing.

The Huntington Town Board had its second of the three public hearings Tuesday on the Melville mixed-use plan, which drew a large but not overwhelming crowd of speakers.

Though Supervisor Ed Smyth said that 120 people had signed up to speak, several, including many who were carried over from last week’s meeting, did not appear. A third hearing is set for the next Town Board meeting on June 11.

Speakers ranged from those wholeheartedly in support, often citing the need for housing that younger people could afford, to those who liked parts of the idea but had reservations, mostly around the environmental issues, and those adamantly opposed for a variety of reasons. Some liked the idea of a downtown district but opposed the idea of adding housing; others expressed concern that once the code was changed, builders could projects beyond what the Town Board is envisioning.

The phrase “the devil is in the details” was heard several times Tuesday night.

The Melville project involves changing the town code to allow for an area now dominated by office buildings to be converted into a neighborhood of mixed retail and residential use. The town’s proposal is not a plan for specific buildings but a framework of changes that would allow builders to develop proposals for specific projects. The town wants to create a walkable downtown, with apartments over retail space, in the area of Maxess Road.


Video from May 7 meeting.

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