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Town of Huntington Approves Rezoning 4-to-1 for the Seasons at Elwood

The Huntington Town Board, at its August 19 meeting, approved rezoning the former Oak Tree Dairy property on Elwood Road, allowing for a proposal to construct the 256-unit Seasons at Elwood over-55 housing development to proceed.

By a 4-1 vote, the Board approved the application by BK Elwood to change the zoning on the property from R40 to R-RM Retirement Community. The resolution noted several conditions Supervisor Frank P. Petrone had negotiated with the developer in response to community concerns. They included an agreement that BK Elwood will coordinate with the Elwood School District to mitigate the possible affect construction traffic could have on school bus routes. BK Elwood also agreed to make every reasonable effort to work with the Town job resource center, the building trades and local contractors to promote the hiring of Huntington residents for construction activities and to fund an independent monitor to work with the Town on soil remediation issues. The developer also agreed to a one-time contribution of $500,000 to the school district and $50,000 to support the Elwood Public Library and to pay the required park fees based on its previous, larger proposal.

“These are the most stringent zone change conditions that we have ever seen,” Supervisor Petrone said. “My Town Board colleagues and I are pleased that the developer listened to the community concerns and addressed these significant items. The end result will be a development that helps fill a need in the Town for housing that will keep our seniors, bring additional tax revenue to Town and the school district, and be a credit to the entire community.”

BK Elwood’s proposal calls for 256 units to be built (down from the previous 360 units and the originally-proposed 482) on 37.49 acres. That reduced the proposed density from the original 12.9 units per acre to 6.8. The current plan adjusted some of the clustering of units to maximize open space from its original plan and made some other changes to improve traffic flow. BK Elwood has also agreed to work with Suffolk County on possible traffic improvements on Elwood Road.

The developer must next seek site plan approval from the Planning Board, which had previously recommended that the Town Board approve the rezoning application.

In other action, the Town Board:

— approved retaining Gibbons, Esposito & Boyce of Uniondale to conduct a traffic calming study and to develop recommendations for Woodbury Road. The $24,818.52 study had been planned for next year, but the timetable was accelerated in light of community concern about some recent accidents on the road.

— approved two actions related to observance of National Pit Bull Awareness Month in October. One measure waives the adoption fees at the Town Animal Shelter for pit bulls and pit bull mixes. The second, in partnership with the League for Animal Protection, will conduct a free spaying and neutering program for pit bulls and pit bull mixes. The program, similar to one that has been conducted in the past, will be at the North Shore Veterinary Hospital in Northport.

— authorized a $25,900 contract with H2M Architects + Engineers for professional engineering services to determine the remaining unused capacity in the Huntington Sewer district and to evaluate potential methods to allow an increase in flow beyond the current permit capacity.

— authorized as a pilot program a change in the parking regulations at the Woodbine Marina from May 25 to September 7, 2015 to set aside a limited number of spaces at the marina for public parking while still providing sufficient spaces required for marina slip holders.

— authorized the Town Attorney to begin a civil action against a company, Crown Castle NG East LLC, that has installed and maintained cellular telephone-related equipment along utility poles in the town’s rights-of-way without Town Board approval.

— appropriated up to $35,000 from the EOSPA Green Project Fund to install 248 energy efficient induction lighting fixtures at the North Parking Garage at the Huntington Long Island Rail Road station.

— approved appropriating $150,000 from the Parks & Recreation Capital Improvement Reserve for resurfacing athletic courts in various Town parks.

— scheduled Sept. 16 a public hearing on a proposal to streamline the process for considering applications to alter properties that are historic or in historic districts. Under the proposed changes, in limited, defined situations where no significant impact on the historic district or site is expected to occur, the Historic Preservation Commission could issue the certificate of approval without the Town Board holding a public hearing. A second change would apply to historic properties deemed blighted.




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