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Greater Huntington Civic Group Drops Appeal to Stop Avalon Bay Housing Development

Executive Board of Greater Huntington Civic Group shifts focus to alerting members to projects that are in the infancy stages.

Greater Huntington Civic Group President Steven Spucces announced today that the Group’s Executive Board has unanimously decided to no longer pursue the appeal that had been filed in the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court. The appeal had been filed in a bid to overturn a judge’s November 19, 2012 decision to deny the merits of the Group’s original lawsuit. The suit was aimed at stopping Avalon Bay Communities, Inc. from developing a high-density housing complex south of the Huntington Rail Road Station.

Among the lawsuit’s assertions, the spot zoning approved by the Huntington Town Board to allow 14.5 units per acre far exceeds the density of the surrounding community, including any other multi-family dwellings. The property was originally zoned for 109 single-family homes.

“Dropping the lawsuit was not an easy decision to make,” said Steven Spucces, president of the Group. “Unfortunately, in spite of the project’s unprecedented density and flagrant SEQRA violations, which were outlined in our appeal, the Avalon Bay project continued to be built.” The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) requires that an environmental impact review be completed to assess the impact of such rezoning on traffic, sewage, soil, open space preservation, and more. The review was never carried out before Town approval was given.

In spite of this legal setback, the Group was instrumental in stopping the Town Board’s approval of a Transit-Oriented District (TOD), which was originally proposed for the property. This effectively reduced the number of housing units from over 500 to 379.

“The Avalon Bay project has become a wake-up call for many residents of the Huntington community. As a result, it is incumbent upon us to stay vigilant in identifying proposed projects in their infancy, at a point when our membership can have truly meaningful input. That’s why our Executive Board has shifted the Group’s focus and resources to making sure we’re ahead of the curve when it comes to new proposals and alerting our membership to their potential scope and impact.”

“In fact, because of our front-and-center involvement in these issues,” Mr. Spucces continued, “developers now approach us to discuss their upcoming projects. We are committed to continuing that discourse and ‘being at the table’ when these land-use decisions are under consideration.”


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8 comments to Greater Huntington Civic Group Drops Appeal to Stop Avalon Bay Housing Development

  • Wundaboy

    Good decision. Avalon Bay will be an asset to the Station and GHCG gets some credibility and respect on future projects.

  • Matt Harris

    To the Town Hall shill Wundaboy:

    At 379 units, most of which will be rentals, even at inflated prices of over $2000 a month, the AB residents will not bring economic benefits to HS, and the school age population will most definitely over burden an already overburdened school district. When reduced from the original 520 unit project, they eliminated 1 and 2 bedroom units, but kept the same amount of 3 bedroom units.
    The homeowners in SD3 will be subsidizing this complex for years to come, just like we already subsidize Highview, Gateway Gardens, Whitman Coop and many other Town Hall social experiments here in HS but no where else in the Town of Huntington.

  • disgusted+

    GHCG has zero clout credibility or money. They have accomplished nothing. They have no political influence. See who is their exec board. You kidding? And Spuces just likes to hear himself talk… to a smaller and smaller group.

  • take it from me

    Overwhelming majority of town citizens did not want Avalon Bay only the usual suspects-Builders/Developers-Affordable Housing zealots-politicians who know overcrowding helps the Democrats.

    The leaders of the GHCG blew a great opportunity to stop Avalon Bay. By not telling their members to go politically after those politicians who wanted Avalon Bay the civic group lost and lost badly.They also lost much credibility with local citizens.

    Petrone wanted Avalon Bay Cuthbertson wanted it Berland wanted it. Yet the leaders of GHCG determined to stay neutral. Stupid and very costly mistake.

  • disgusted+

    100 per cent correct. They want it both ways. Or at least Spuces does.

  • I want to be the leader syndrome

    Happens with many civic groups. The people who get it going become full of themselves. They think they can negotiate in good faith with the supervisor. Fat chance.They believe they have some sort of power and think politicians will listen to them. Fat chance again.Now we wait for Petrone’s developer buddies to build on North side of Pulaski between Lake road and BAE inc.
    If the civic groups especially GHCG have learned anything it’s to politically drive out any politician and their party that wants more housing developments. Enough already.

  • Hardhat II

    Looks like the construction is moving along very nicely and very quickly. Cook doing the asphalt work?

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