More Downtown Apartments: Sanin "Yes"; Smyth "No"


by Niall Fitzgerald

The issue of downtown parking, and the building of new apartment blocks in downtown Huntington, has divided the race for Huntington Town Supervisor.

Councilman Ed Smyth authored the Town law that limits construction of new apartment buildings in the downtown areas of the Town of Huntington: Huntington Village; Cold Spring Harbor; Centerport; Greenlawn; and East Northport. Smyth, who has served one four-year term on the Town Board, is the Republican nominee for Supervisor.

Smyth is also credited with stopping the 2021 proposed re-zoning of downtown Huntington, Cold Spring Harbor and East Northport, which would have allowed for large new apartment buildings in those downtowns.

"The choice is simple. The Democrats led by Rebecca Sanin will approve more big apartment buildings in our downtowns," stated Smyth. "I have a proven track record of stopping the over-development in Huntington village and our other downtown areas."

"I have been a strong protector for Huntington's environment including our drinking water and our beautiful waterways." added Smyth.

Smyth's Democratic opponent, Rebecca Sanin, heads up a small liberal not-for-profit corporation, the Health and Welfare Council, which once distributed community grants, but now only supports its salaried staff. Sanin previously served as a political staffer in the administration of County Executive Steve Bellone (D-Babylon).

Sanin has called for "smart growth" and "green growth" in apartment building in Huntington, and called for the Town to "speed-up building permit approvals" for apartment and commercial "properties by 50%."

During the final years of the last Democratic administration in Huntington, under former Supervisor Frank Petrone, there was a flurry of apartment building approvals. Many of these projects - such as the ugly apartment block built behind the Mandarin restaurant on New York Avenue - have been criticized as political "pay-offs" to favored contractors.

Parking in downtown Huntington has reached a critical point, with local residents often unable to park on busy weekend evenings, due to the parking shortage and the conversion of so many downtown parking spots to outdoor dining. Smyth has issued plans for ways to deal with the issue. Sanin did not return calls nor post any proposed solutions.