Huntington Hospital's long-time parking woes are one step closer to alleviation.
The Huntington Planning Board approved a conditional site plan at its Wednesday, July 7, meeting.
The hospital, a part of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, is seeking to construct a two-level 148,356-square-foot paring structure on the northwest portion of the 12.72-acre property and to re-stripe some of the existing parking stalls.
The additional number of spots that will be provided by the new structure will be 217 for a total of 978. And, although it is not required by Town code, the hospital included four spaces for hybrid and alternative vehicles.
The hospital will next need to seek relief from the Town of Huntington's Board of Zoning Appeals as the current plans for the parking garage exceed the allowable height and lot coverage. It is also seeking to make the parking stalls 18-feet wide instead of the required 20 feet.
Huntington Hospital has already received variances for narrower driving aisles in the parking garage, 22 feet instead of the 24 feet required by code. The hospital also gained approval to legalize an existing security/valet parking booth and add another.
The Planning Board requested that both booths be made more aesthetically pleasing than the current temporary booth. "I think everyone thinks it's really ugly and if it's not going to be temporary, putting something nice there wouldn't bother us," Planning Board member Avrum Rosen told attorney James Margolin of Margolin and Margolin, who represents the hospital.
Several years ago, the hospital was forced to institute a parking plan for employees that assigned a color to employees and allowed them to only park in the lot on weeks that coincide with their color.
Area off-site parking is also utilized by the hospital. Security staff are on hand to provide transportation between those lots and the hospital. There are currently 321 parking spots for more than 600 employees including professional staff and part-time workers. The new plan will provide 413 spaces.
The hospital currently provides a free valet parking for patients from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the front circle near the main hospital entrance and will continue to offer it for chemotherapy patients following the construction of the parking garage.
A number of spots will also be reserved for maternity patients in the east parking lot. The hospital had previously submitted a proposal for a three-story parking structure but rising costs and neighbors concerns led to the revision.
Separate right and left turning lanes out of the hospital on to Park Avenue will be constructed according to the plan as well. Maple Hill Road will not have an entrance or exit except for the existing emergency exit. The site plan also includes extensive peripheral landscaping including 25 white pines on the Maple Hill Road side of the structure.