Over 1,000 Residents, Civic Groups, and Local Businesses Oppose Proposed Villadom Mall And Urge Attendance At Upcoming June 22 Planning Board Hearing To Voice Concerns
All Say Town Should Not Amend Comprehensive Plan to Accommodate Another Strip Mall
On Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm, the Town of Huntington Planning Board will hold a public hearing to consider re-writing the Town’s Comprehensive Plan to accommodate the Villadom Mall, a massive and unprecedented 56-acre, 486,000 square-foot strip mall — larger than Nassau Coliseum — on Jericho Turnpike, between Manor Road and Warner Road.
The Comprehensive Plan itself prohibits any such development because of all the traffic problems that plague Jericho Turnpike and the surrounding roads. The Town Planning Department has already determined that, if this Mall were built, it would become “the largest traffic generator directly on Jericho Turnpike” in the Town. An independent traffic consulting firm has also denounced this Mall over additional traffic congestion, delays, and safety concerns. Nevertheless, the Planning Board is proceeding with a hearing on re-writing the Comprehensive Plan to allow the Mall to be constructed.
One of the local civic groups opposing the Villadom Mall, Citizens for the Protection of Residential Zoning in the Town of Huntington, has circulated a petition urging local residents to attend the June 22, 2016 hearing and voice their concerns. The petition has already received over 1,000 signatures. Other civic groups, including the Manor Plains Civic Association, and local businesses are joining in the effort to stop the Villadom Mall.
But it is not just traffic problems these groups say the proposed Mall will cause; it will also affect the environment. Construction of this project will mean dozens of acres of natural vegetation will be destroyed, 650,000 cubic yards of sand will be excavated, and a three-story retaining wall will need to be built to prevent flooding and stormwater runoff, as well as an onsite sewage treatment plant in order to handle over 33,000 gallons of sanitary waste that would be generated by the Mall each day. Meanwhile, the developer is receiving more than $18 million in tax breaks for this project.
One of the major critics of the project is Dr. Laura DiGrande, a concerned local resident who lives close to the proposed Villadom site. “In its Master Plan, the Town essentially promised that this property would remain as low-density residential,” Dr. DiGrande said. “This was a key factor for myself and many of my neighbors in choosing to call Huntington home. The massive development project will impact open space and will drastically increase local traffic, having a major impact on safety for our families and our local quality of life.”
The petition has been set up on change.org to allow residents to let the Town Planning Board know that they do not support this project and to urge the Board not to amend the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. It can be accessed by visiting stopthevilladom.com.
Residents are also encouraged to attend the Planning Board hearing on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm, at Huntington Town Hall, to voice their concerns.