Opponents of a proposal to build a large mixed-use apartment complex are ramping up their demands for the future of the site at 235 Main St.
Fresh off Thursday’s Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing that had to be adjourned when the crowds grew too big for the meeting room, the group Save Huntington Village said Monday afternoon that it would push for designating 235 Main St., which was home to the historic 1911 Huntington Firehouse, as a landmark site.
“Both the Huntington Historic Preservation Commission and NYS Department of Parks and Recreation want the 1911 Firehouse preserved,” the group said. “A hearing was held on July 12, 2016 when the board was totally unsympathetic to these wishes. Our stance is that if the Supervisor Lupinacci’s “New Direction” is to make good on its promise, the board must hold the vote that was never held on historic status for this important piece of Huntington history and protect it from proposals such as (developer John) Kean’s.”
Kean, and Alan Fromkin, who owns five parcels that includes the town’s first fire station, want to build a retail and 84-unit apartment building on Main Street, Stewart Avenue and Gerard Street. The proposal includes a parking garage on Gerard Street. They appeared at the zoning board hearing to request parking and building height variations.
The group said it wanted Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci to “make good on a public statement he released in response to the hundreds of letters his office received on this proposal. Part of this statement was:
‘While I cannot comment on a specific application before the ZBA, it is the priority of my administration to preserve the historic character and charm of our town while allowing business to flourish…In 2018, my first year in office, I asked the town’s Planning Department to review possible changes to C-6 zoning and provide recommendations to aid in the preservation of our town’s quaint aesthetic. The Planning Department is still working on those recommendations’.”
Lupinacci’s theme during his campaign for the supervisor’s job in 2017 was “A New Direction for Huntington.” The project’s opponents played off the term by referring to the proposal as “The Wrong Direction” and want the supervisor to call for a vote to create the landmark status and then address mixed-use zoning issues.
Thursday’s zoning board hearing was postponed before attorney James Margolin, representing the owner, finished his presentation. The board promised those who had signed up to speak that they would be heard when the hearing resumes in a new location.