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Huntington Zone Change Could Add 40,000 Apartments in Melville

By Maureen Daly

The Huntington Town Board has proposed re-zoning of a one square mile area of Melville for four-story apartment blocks, that could result in some 40,000 new apartments being built.  The area is currently commercial zoned and contains office buildings and light warehouses.


Melville now has 19,000 residents. The proposed "Melville Town Center Overlay District" (MTCOD) could add over 100,000 new residents to Melville.  That number represents 50% of the existing population of the entire Town of Huntington - which now stands at 204,000.


The re-zoning Resolution was approved for public hearings by the Town Board last Tuesday. The Resolution passed 4-0, with only Councilwoman Brooke Lupinacci (R) not present.


The Resolution would re-zone a one square mile area between the LIE Service Road and Ruland Road; and Route 110 and Pinelawn Road.  The re-zoned area would encompass about 650 acres.


Under the proposed re-zoning rules, developers could build three stories of apartments on a footprint of 40% of each one acre (43,500 square foot) lot. 


Three floors of apartments - at 17,400 square feet per floor - equals 52,200 square feet per acre.  Deducting 20% for hallways and utilities, leaves 41,760 square feet for apartments per acre.


The proposed zoning rules would allow for studio apartments of 600 square feet; one bedroom apartments of 700 square feet; and two-bedroom apartments of 800 square feet.


That translates to 70 studio apartments per acre; or 60 one-bedroom apartments per acre, or 52 two-bedroom apartments per acre - potentially over 45,000 apartments for the entire 650 acre area.


The one square mile "Melville Town Center" would be by far the largest housing development ever in the history of Long Island.


By contrast, the post-WWII development of Levittown saw only about 12,000 housing units built over seven square miles.


The Town's proposal contains a "pause" after each group of 400 apartments are built, to allow the Town Board to review and approve subsequent groups of 400 apartments.


The Town's Resolution also contains a "waiver" to avoid the state's SEQRA environmental compliance and evaluation process, to avoid having to conduct an environmental impact study.


No architects' drawings, artists' renderings, survey plans, plat maps, or utility service connection studies were contained in the Resolution.  The Proposal was not presented to the Town's Planning Board - but proposed directly by members of the Town Board.


The Huntington Town Board has scheduled public hearings on the Melville Town Center proposal for April 30th at 7PM at West Hollow Middle School; May 7th at 2PM at Town Hall; and June 12th at 7PM at Town Hall.


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