A group of Huntington residents have staged a rally at Town Hall tonight to show their support for the Avalon Bay project, a 490-unit workforce housing project.
"A small group of Huntington residents and members of the tea party movement are spreading false information about the AvalonBay project. Avalon Bay Transit-Oriented Development project is a smart growth plan with a mix of affordable housing for rent and homeownership ¼ mile from the train station," reads the rally call to action. "Huntington residents will be rallying to say YIMBY to Avalon. Residents are calling on the Town Board to approve the project in their backyards."
In order to move forward the property, located on a 26-acre parcel on the north side of East Fifth Street in Huntington Station adjacent to the New York State Armory, needs to be rezoned.
Opponents to the project are against the proposal to rezone the property to the newly created Huntington Station Transit-Oriented District saying, as the the largest down- zoning in the entire history of the town of Huntington, it would set a horrible precedent.
The land is currently zoned for 109 single-family homes.
"This will be the densest housing project in the entire town, housing more than 18 units per acre," reads a letter to the editor from opponents.
"This development will require nine 46-foot high buildings just off Park Avenue. That would make them as tall as the north parking garage at the Huntington train station. It will also require the largest down- zone in the entire history of the town of Huntington."
As an example, Avalon Melville is 14 units per acre; Huntington Country Farms across the street is 7. The land is currently zoned for 109 single-family homes. As an example, Avalon Melville is 14 units per acre; Huntington Country Farms across the street is seven, reads the letter.
Supporters, some of whom call themselves YIMBYs, say that affordable housing is sorely needed in the town.
"I am here to say, 'Yes, in my backyard,'" said Reverend Paul Ratzlaff of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Huntington said at the public hearing for the zone change in March. "We want to keep an affordable mix of housing for the families in town. And, as a minister of a congregation, I am very aware of our young adults who chose to live at home and then were forced to move elsewhere to find affordable housing. It's a shame that doesn't exist here. I'm also very aware of retiring couples who are pioneers in our congregation who are faced with similar situations. They are forced to move out and away from the community of friends and family they care for."