Developer Pulls High-Density Apartment Project in Greenlawn
By Chris O’Neill
Long Island developer Engel Burman, in the face of heavy community resistance, has pulled back from its plans to build a high density 260-unit apartment complex on a 24 acre farm and equestrian site next to St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church off Pulaski Road in Greenlawn.
This site is zoned for agriculture, or for no more than 19 single family homes – and thus for about 80 residents. Engel Burman had submitted a proposal for a Hearing before the Huntington Town Board to change the zoning to high-density “Garden Apartment Complex,” which would have meant 260 apartment units and over 1000 new residents.
By a narrow majority of one vote, the Board had agreed to hold the public hearing, changing its venue to the Jack Abrams STEM school to accommodate the expected huge outpouring of residents. In light of the withdrawal by the developer of its proposal this hearing will now not take place.
Residents were worried about over-development, increased traffic (the complex would be 1.5 miles from the LIRR GreenLawn Station – too far for most people to walk) - and the loss of green spaces in general.
The developer, via its principal, Steven Krieger, claimed that an “exhaustive traffic study” had shown that increased traffic would be manageable. He also suggested that changing demographics (the local Harborfields School district enrollment has dropped by 637 students, 18%, over the past decade) has shown a need for a different style of housing – fewer single homes and more apartments.
Engel-Burman has promised to resubmit the proposal in the future - after more “community consultation.”