Town Board to Take Up Rezoning, Housing Projects

The Huntington Town Board will convene Tuesday for its last scheduled meeting of the year, with action expected on at least two significant issues.

High on the list of topics the board is expected to take up is the creation of an overlay district on some industrial properties in Melville, which could allow for a mix of  apartments, retail, corporate offices and several other commercial uses. The board voted at its last meeting to schedule three public hearings at Tuesday’s meeting; resolutions to allow the overlay vote were added later to the board agenda.

The goal is to allow parcels of land where corporate office use is declining to be put to fuller use by expanding what could be built there.

Many residents of Melville have raised concerns about  the possibility of more warehouses being built in the community, while opponents fear overdevelopment of the area.

Online, some residents have been objecting to what was originally supposed to be three public hearings, saying the plans weren’t sufficient, or would lead to overdevelopment. Others object to the overlay being decided at the last scheduled meeting of the year when two new members of council will join the board in January and the town will have a new supervisor. Departing supervisor Chad Lupinacci sponsored the public hearing resolutions.

Still others complained that the meeting would be held in the afternoon when many residents are at work, and others that there has been no general public discussion of the plan. Departing Suffolk County Legislator Susan Berland said that any rezoning would “radically and forever change the character and landscape of the Melville Route 110 corridor and the Town of Huntington.”

The board also has scheduled resolutions involving another vote on Matinecock Court, the 43-year-old housing plan in East Northport.

The controversial development of units, planned since 1978 for the intersection of Pulaski and Elwood roads in East Northport, was on the agenda last month to consider a change in an agreement reached between the town and housing advocates to allow the project to proceed.

At issue now is the meaning of “limited equity cooperative,” with developer Peter G. Florey saying the 146 units, instead of half owned, half rented as originally proposed, would be cooperatives owned by the residents. That change came in the spring. Opponents claim that the units would actually all be rentals, not owned by individuals.

Councilman Ed Smyth in particular had objected to the “limited equity cooperative” description, saying it meant that the units would be rentals in all but name only.

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