The Huntington Town Board pushed a decision on the Matinecock Court housing development off Thursday’s agenda, with Supervisor Chad Lupinacci saying a vote would be delayed until next year.
But hours into the meeting, Town Councilwoman Joan Cergol said she would sponsor the resolution, with support from Councilmen Mark Cuthbertson and Gene Cook, which moved the issue onto December’s agenda.
The controversial development of units, planned since 1978 for the intersection of Pulaski and Elwood roads in East Northport, was on the agenda 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.
One speaker during a public hearing about a separate equestrian overlay district involving the construction of luxury homes condemned the interest in wealthy homes while action on affordable housing was delayed.
Councilmen Mark Cuthbertson and Ed Smyth briefly argued about when Smyth had learned about the placement of the resolution on the agenda and whether he should have been prepared for a vote because the change in the agreement was known months ago.
And Lois Fricke of the Long Island Builders Institute repeatedly challenged Councilman Ed Smyth, who had described the equity payment as a “deception,” saying it was nothing more than rent.
Thursday night, Pilar Moya, executive director of Housing Help, said, “Today’s refusal to hear the proposed amendment to the Matinecock Court settlement agreement will not stop the development from being built. Although we may be unable to implement the limited equity cooperative structure, we will continue our commitment to affordability through the construction of 146 units, 76 of which will be condominiums and the other 70 units which will be rental units. Housing Help Inc. will continue its dedication to affordable housing for residents of Huntington and will continue to provide its assistance in the years to come.”