Town Board Meeting 7/21/20
Huntington Enacts C-6 Zoning Regulations on Mixed-Use Development, Addresses LIPA Proposal
The Huntington Town Board held its July 21, 2020 meeting remotely and broadcast meeting audio live, approving sweeping measures to regulate the size and scope of mixed-use development in the Town, including environmental impacts of development, and address the decades-long parking issue in Huntington village, scheduled public forums addressing the LIPA settlement proposal, and scheduled public hearings for the August 11 Town Board meeting.
The Town Board held a moment of silence, led by Councilman Ed Smyth prior to his leading the Town Board in the Pledge of Allegiance, to recognize the passing of civil rights leader, Congressman John Lewis. “Congressman John Lewis was an icon of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and dedicated his life to racial equality, He has been recognized by colleagues across the political spectrum as a true gentleman. He will be sorely missed on Capitol Hill and around our Nation,” said Councilman Smyth.
C-6 ZONING CHANGES ENACTED TO REGULATE THE SIZE AND SCALE OF MIXED-USE APARTMENT BUILDINGS, IMPROVE PARKING IN HUNTINGTON VILLAGE
In a measure co-sponsored by Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci and Councilman Ed Smyth, the Town Board approved sweeping measures regulating the size and scale of mixed-use development, consisting of commercial uses on the ground floor and residential apartments on the upper floor(s), in the Huntington Village area and anywhere zoned C-6 in the Town, including:
- establishing a new 38-foot height limit;
- promoting economic activity on the ground floor by limiting storage or community space to no more than 15% of the ground floor, to eliminate the abuse of mixed-use zoning to create apartment buildings in disguise;
- prohibiting placement of parking in the front of existing buildings converting to mixed-use;
- increasing the required parking to be provided on-site from 1 parking space per apartment to 1.5 spaces per studio or one-bedroom apartment plus 0.5 spaces per additional bedroom;
- creating a new density limit on new construction or projects expanding the footprint of existing buildings, by requiring the combined square footage of upper floors not to exceed 150% of the first floor.
The changes to C-6 Zoning building density, height, and parking requirements were based on input gathered from the public.
Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci stated: “We promised to protect quality of life in Huntington by stopping the abuse of loopholes in amendments to the Town Code that were added in 2006, which have resulted in every unpopular development project you have seen built in downtown Huntington over the past 11 years, all approved before this administration, including projects you are seeing built today. It took some time and careful consideration, but we worked hard to get it right the first time and I am proud to deliver this promise in my first term as Supervisor. We achieved this with input from the community, and I look forward to delivering more for our residents, as we have on term limits, ethics reforms and now, tackling inappropriate development concerns that have been a looming threat to the suburban charm of Huntington for far too long.”
Councilman Ed Smyth said: “Along with term limits and waterfront clean-up and revitalization, passing this resolution is another campaign promise fulfilled. We are now focusing on the Town’s infrastructure and sewers.”
Councilman Eugene Cook stated: “The resolutions amending C-6 that passed at last night’s Town Board meeting is the start of preserving the quaint and charming character of Huntington Village, and I want to thank the various Town of Huntington departments that worked hard and long on these resolutions. These changes take into account not only water quality, storm water run-off, sewer system capacity, and traffic issues while allowing for the future development of Huntington Village. It is extremely important that these changes are the first step in the process and that the Town Board continues to re-evaluate Town Code to maintain the historic downtown nature that draws visitors from all over to Huntington.”
The changes to C-6 Zoning, in Chapter 198 of the Town Code, are effective anywhere zoned C-6 in the Town but excludes the Huntington Station Overlay District to encourage investment in the underserved area, which is undergoing community revitalization efforts.
TRAFFIC IMPACT, SEWER SYSTEM, STORMWATER RUNOFF ANALYSIS & MITIGATION NOW REQUIRED
The Town Board then approved the second measure co-sponsored by Supervisor Lupinacci and Councilman Smyth, establishing new requirements for Planning Board site plan review in the Huntington Village Hamlet Center:
- requiring traffic impact analysis and mitigation;
- requiring sewer and system capacity impact analysis in the Huntington Sewer District, requiring the Departments of Environmental Waste Management and the Department of Planning and Environment to review the project’s sanitary use projections prior to the submission of the site plan, where if the joint review determines it will have a detrimental impact, the application will not be entertained by the Town;
- requiring compliance with the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, requiring applications to comply with drainage system requirements and if the requirement cannot be satisfied by the applicant, payment must be made to the Town to fund the required drainage, storm water runoff, and water quality improvements, deposited in the Drainage Impact Fee Account for improvements to be installed by the Huntington Highway Department;
- requiring the Historic Preservation Commission to advise the Planning Board with architectural review on new buildings, front facades, exterior additions or alterations above 1,000 sq. ft., and any type of demolition;
- architectural guidelines to ensure a building’s design is consistent with its location;
- requiring the height and setback of the building to be similar to that of surrounding buildings, designed to complement existing neighborhood aesthetics.
ADDITIONAL LIMITS ON USE OF PARKING LOTS IN CALCULATING REQUIREMENTS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN HUNTINGTON VILLAGE
The Town Board also enacted the third measure co-sponsored by Councilman Smyth and Supervisor Lupinacci, amending Chapter 198 to eliminate the ability to use the Town’s newly acquired municipal parking lots in the Huntington Village Hamlet Center to satisfy parking requirements for new development.
This includes reserving any property acquired on or after September 1, 2019 for municipal parking, such as the former Chase Bank property at 295 New York Avenue, for the purpose of supporting existing businesses and residents; Special Use Permit rules would not be changed for existing municipal parking lots, so the existing rights of property owners would not be changed.
ACTION ON LIPA LAWSUIT PROPOSAL
On the matter of the July 2, 2020 LIPA proposal, the Town Board:
- Enacted a measure co-sponsoring the “Masks on Main Street” artistic public health campaign, along with the Huntington Small Business Economic Recovery Task Force, Northwell Health and local merchants, to promote the wearing of face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Accepted a generous donation from the Long Island Board of Realtors of 20 hand sanitizer dispensers and 20 gallons of hand sanitizer, valued at up to $2,800, for placement at all eight beaches and the parks with the busiest playgrounds.
- Approved Environmental Open Space and Park Improvement (EOSPA) Funds for recommended improvements at Terry Farrell Park, Kew Avenue Park, Gold Star Battalion Beach, Asharoken Beach, Fleets Cove Beach, and West Neck Beach:
- Terry Farrell Park, South Huntington – Up to $500,000 to reconstruct playing court complex of tennis and basketball courts with new surfacing, fencing, and new pickleball lines to create two new pickleball play areas.
- Gold Star Battalion Beach, Huntington – Up to $125,000 for the installation of a new playground and amenities
- Kew Avenue Park, East Northport – Up to $55,000 for the installation of a new playground and remove aged elements requested by the community
- Asharoken Beach, Fleets Cove Beach. Gold Star Battalion Beach and Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach – Up to $12,500 for 6.5 foot-wide “mobi-mats” or accessible mats to enhance water accessibility
- Approved $72,000 in additional funding for the Department of Human Services Senior Division Nutrition Program to allow the Town to continue providing 5 weekly frozen meals to senior citizen residents through November 2020.
- Approved the purchase and installation of Mobi Mats for initial use at Crab Meadow Beach, Centerport Beach near the Senior Center Beach House, and Hobart Beach, at a cost not to exceed $25,000 to be reimbursed by the Community Development Agency.
- Extended the temporary pilot program allowing on-leash dog walking in certain portions of Heckscher Park through December 31, 2020.
- Amended Subdivision and Site Plan Regulations; to revise Appendix H – Street Trees and Plant Material to remove invasive species and add a greater variety of mostly native species to ensure invasive species are not planted and a greater diversity of native tree and shrub options may be planted during development, protecting local ecosystems from the detrimental impact of planting invasive species.
- Amended the Traffic Code; expanding the designation of vision obstructions that would constitute a public safety issue, allowing the Departments of Public Safety and Transportation and Traffic Safety to address and rectify these public safety issues. Several issues involving vision obstructions along roadways have been reported and investigated by the Town but were deemed not actionable under the current Town Code.
- Approved a measure allowing the Town to more efficiently resolve property nuisance violations and strengthened the Town’s ability to recover costs of property cleanups, to improve quality of life across the Town and shift the burden of these cleanups from the taxpayer to the neglectful property owner.
- Amended Chapter 198 (Zoning) to allow for a new type of indoor commercial recreational facility as an approved use in commercial zoning, in order to fill existing, vacant commercial space.
The Town Board scheduled public hearings for the Tuesday, August 11, 2020 Town Board meeting at 2:00 PM to consider:
- Amending the Uniform Traffic Code of the Town of Huntington, Chapter 2, Article IV, §2-7, Schedule G. Re: Schiller Avenue – Huntington Station – Stop Sign; to add a Stop Sign on Schiller Avenue for northbound traffic at Schaefer Street.
- Amending the Code of the Town of Huntington, Chapter 178 (Taxation); to enhance mechanisms for verification of continued eligibility for tax exemptions and institute penalties for intentional fraud/misrepresentation on an application.
- Amending the Code of the Town of Huntington, Chapter 198 (Zoning), Article VI (Historic Landmarks and Districts), §198-42 (Designation of Sites and Buildings), to update the Tax Map Numbers of the Mill Lane Historic District in Huntington.
- Considering zone change application #2019-ZM-446, Hartz Mountain – Spagnoli Road, to change the zoning from R-40 Residence District to I-2 Light Industry District for a portion of the property located on the south side of Spagnoli Road, East of Hub Drive, Melville, (SCTM #0400-266-01-007.003); to rezone the rear portion of a 31-acre lot surrounded by industrially-developed parcels zoned I-2 (Light Industry), to match the zoning of the front portion of the lot; the front three-quarters of the site is zoned I-2, with the rear quarter zoned R-40.