AvalonBay Hearing Draws Huge Crowd

85 residents sign up to voice opinions at spirited town hall meeting in Huntington.

In meeting lasting more than four hours, the Huntington Town Board read off a list of 85 people who signed up to voice their opinions regarding the controversial AvalonBay project proposed for Huntington Station.

Town Hall was filled to capacity as dozens of civic leaders, business people, local residents and elected officials discussed the possibility of a zone change which would clear the way for construction of hundreds of new apartment units in the area. 

The majority of those who signed up to speak stayed for hours, waiting for their time to speak, forcing the meeting, which began at 7 p.m., to run well past 11 p.m.

AvalonBay representatives have requested a change in rezoning, from R-7 single-family type to R3M, which would allow Avalon to build 379 units of multifamily housing, with 303 units to be rented and 76 to be sold on the north side of East Fifth Street.  

With the public hearing now closed, the board could decide on the zoning change during its next regularly scheduled meeting in June.

At an earlier portion of the meeting, which began at 6:30 p.m., the town board heard nearly two dozen public comments regarding the construction of a proposed 7-Eleven store  in Huntington Station. Construction of the store would require a town code change by the board at a later date.

Tara Poultney May 17, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 02:32 PM
"Statement from Councilman Mark Cuthbertson On the Avalon Bay Project With the Huntington School Board’s vote Monday to withdraw its support for the Avalon Bay proposal, I have decided that I will not vote in favor of this project. My support for this project has always been premised, in part, upon support from the school district. When the school district voted to enter into an agreement with Avalon on August 10, 2009 to accept up to $l,500,000 mitigation fee if the project was approved, I believed that this demonstrated sufficient community support to allow this proposal to be considered. It also demonstrated that the school board had considered the project’s implications on school capacity. With that support now withdrawn, I can no longer support the project. "
Patriot May 17, 2011 at 02:35 PM
I was so caught up with cub scouts, baseball and softball with my kids this weekend that I forgot all about this meeting. If I were there I would have held my NO FOR AVB Sorry I missed you all.
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Wonder why Mark Cuthberson decided to switch his stance and punish the innocent children of SD3# due to whatever grudge he seems to have against the Board of Ed.
JohnnyP May 17, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Jen you are right on again. The only real supporter we have is Mayoka. Cuthberson, Berland, Petrone and Jackson all have an agenda and it doesnt include makign the station a better place to live. I especially like how Newsday and News Channel 12 paint the oppenents of the project. We are jsut selfish racists for wanting to keep our community a community. If the board members are sooo hell bent on building these complexes then let them put their money where their mouth is. Let them propose to build this "small" complex in their backyards. Its all to easy for them to stick it in the station once again. If the housing in the area is so scarce then they should be more than willing to build the project in their neighborhoods. I am not oppsed to building these projects on Long Island I am just sick of it ALWAYS being dropped in the station. How about the town take care the the people that already here instead of drowling at the first glimpse of increased tax revenue. Use the revenues you have already and take care of your constituents. Stop the nonese that we MUST provide housing for all these "homeless" people that must be walkign around. I use Homeless as a joke because these people already have places to live. Sorry if I feel that the people that are currently in the communuity take presedence overt the people who might live there. Yes , yes I know Kim you are a resident who is for it. I am taking about the other 90% who think we are gettign the royal shaft on this project.
Patched Out 2 May 17, 2011 at 03:42 PM
The population of Huntington Station is around 30,000. Are you trying to tell me that you have spoken to 90% of 30,000 or 27,000 people and they said they are all against Avalon??? I think not....I would venture to say that you think you are getting the "royal shaft" because you don't fully understand the situation at hand.
JohnnyP May 17, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Its was a tongue in cheek statement Kim. No I dont know if the figure is 90%. What I do know is that when I drive to work I see a " ton" (do you want me to define ton too?) of stop avalon Bay signs, but to date I havent seen ONE pro avalon sign on anyones lawn? Now why would that be? if you have soo many people that are for it? Either there isnt a big contingent of supporters (outside of organizations who dont live in the community) or the proponents dont have lawns. Please tell me the full story Kim. Please ! I would love to hear how this project is going to clean up the streets and how little kids and puppies are going to frolick in the streets. Why dont you tell me my Tax bill will go down in light of this development. Tell me that the town of Huntington is doing this with the Stations best interests at heart. Tell me I wont have to sit in even more traffic to get around. Tell me the incentive to support this project. Tell me that Avalon Bay wasnt going around with PAID volunters from other towns to tell me how great this project is. Tell me that. This was overwelmingly rejected only a short while ago but here we are again. Our elected officials invited them back to the table. This is a blatant abuse of power. Kim try and try as you migth I will NEVER, EVER BE FOR THIS PROJECT. Dont worry I have my neighbors dead set against it as well
Patched Out 2 May 17, 2011 at 04:05 PM
First off, it requires an "open mind" to try and understand these things. Based on what you said in your post above, I would say that you have a "closed mind" to alternative ways of thinking or seeing things. Secondly, they were invited back to submit a revised proposal based on feedback from the community. Your input was considered and acted upon, but yet, your fists are still up for fighting. So that leads me to conclude that for many of you, this is still really all about the fight....
Patched Out 2 May 17, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Seriously, when are you going to stop the attacks on me and the constant accusations? I have a whole laundry list of them now and every single one of them has proved to be untrue just like this one is. I am passionate about what I believe in, plain and simple, and have been involved since 2003 with Huntington Station's revitalization. If you really cared so much about Huntington Station, where have you been all these years? What exactly was your motivation for showing up? And in what year did it finally happened that you showed up???
JohnnyP May 17, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Yes it is about the fight, the fight to retain our community. I understand you are for it. Thats your right and I applaud you for fighting what you believe in. I however find it very dishearting that the town is trying to ram this proposal through again. The board (minus Mayoka) has been lecturing us on how we should be kissing their rings for bringing this back. I have to listen to Glenda and Frank Lecture us on how we dont know whats good for us. To me they are talking down to us and I dont appreciate that. Someone hangs a bedsheet on THIER own property that says stop Avalon Bay and we have an elected official calling the opponents racist and mean spirited. Well I for one take offense to that statment, we are expressing our beliefs. How dare these officials tell us what is good for us. We are the community(you included Kim) and we should have the right to vote this project in or not. Not a few elected officials who feel they can rewrite town code to justify their special interests. So yeah I dont trust the majority of the elected officials and a corporation when they tell me its in my best interest to support it. I love the station. I like the change I am seeing, the updating of the buidlings, the demolishment of run down buidlings. I would love to see the station restored to the original glory. I just dont feel this project will have a positive impact on that happening.
Patched Out 2 May 17, 2011 at 04:54 PM
Ok I understand your point better now. But as one of the speakers pointed out that we have to do what is best for the majority ie "for the greater good". It seems like you, your neighbors, and the others who are still in opposition are approaching it from the standpoint of what is best just for "you or them". So as I have asked before, if everyone just stopped having kids would all our problems finally go away?? The cycle is that kids grow up to be adults who then have children too. So our population continues to grow and all these people need places to live and raise their families, and they buy cars and so on. Remember that the piece of land where your house sits used to be farm land. So what if Town Hall listened to all the naysayers back then? That means that you and your neighbors wouldnt be living here. LI regional housing issue is focused on how to address the needs of the seniors and the next generation young people. That is part of what Avalon is all about....
John Fay May 17, 2011 at 04:55 PM
A big NO for Avalon Bay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 05:02 PM
It is illegal what they are doing. Make no mistake that we are ready, prepared and willing to persue. I will copy my speech last night that points out just 1 of the legal ramifications of the project. Also if anyone would like to sign our online petition. http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?SayNoAVB or for information to join forces with us please visit.. http://greaterhuntingtoncivicgroup.com/ Thank you!
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 05:03 PM
Good Evening people of Huntington and the REAL residents of Huntington Station, my name is Jennifer LaVertu a Huntington Station resident for 15 years who is opposed to the Avalon Bay project. It will create a negative tax drain on the existing tax payers of school district #3. Avalon is requesting a change of zone to R3M the most dense zoning on our current town books. This is also known as “illegal spot zoning” This Paper dated April 9th2010 is from Avalon Bay marked: “responses to questions raised at the public hearing” dated March 9,2010. Page 18 states “Improper spot zoning occurs when a small parcel of property is rezoned, and does not conform to established surrounding zoning or the land use plans or policies of the municipality.” This project does neither. There are 5 parcels of property in Huntington with R-3M zoning . They are Highview, Gateway Gardens, Lincoln Estates Whitmen Village and I was shocked to learn? Jack Abrams School to be the 5th.
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 05:03 PM
cont: I was unable to locate R3M zoning on any parcels outside of Huntington Station. The areas DIRECTLY surrounding the Bonavita property are Industrial or R7 and R10. There is no parcel of property directly surrounding, nor touching, nor with 100 feet of an R3M zoning. By definition of Avalon Bays own documents it is NOT conforming to the established surrounding zoning nor the proposed zoning referred to as the Hamlet Center zoning district recommended in Horizons 2020 which is the blueprint for the future development of Huntington . To quote the Huntington Station Hamlet Zone Section 10, page 10. “The fragmented zoning hampers the creation of a coherent development pattern and overall identity for Huntington Station. The large industrial properties along the LIRR should be maintained, balanced with the need to accommodate a grocery store in the neighborhood and for buffering from adjacent neighborhoods.” Imagine that, a grocery store to serve the basic needs of people. To define Mixed Use according to our blueprints? It is ground floor retail with residential above maintaining the character of Huntington. To define Mixed Use according to Avalon Bay? A little for sale, a lot for rent and just enough affordable to call it affordable according to the standards of HUD but it wont be affordable to the tax payers. In fact….it’s not affordable for Huntington at all. Thank you.
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 05:04 PM
for a link to all the avalon bay documnets and horizon2020 please see the Town of Huntington website at http://town.huntington.ny.us/ look under the library section and under "planning" there you can find both. Happy Reading!
Patched Out 2 May 17, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Great......there goes a big waste of tax dollars to be spent on lawyer fees now! I guess you are interested in keeping Besen employed arent you? See this is where I stress the need to think win/win but some folks unfortunately can only deal in win/lose propositions....
Vivienne Wong May 17, 2011 at 05:06 PM
No proper SEQUA study has been completed. Since January of this year the Town Board has given traffic and parking exemptions to the following: The “old Town Hall” being converted to a hotel with a 4 story parking structure, the IMAX being allowed to double the seating capacity, the new TB bank being converted to a drive thorough bank. These new projects have not been factored in. I also have major concerns regarding our drinking water. A question is if all the vacant houses and business in Huntington (and maybe all of Long Island) were inhabited could we supply them with drinking water? Can we say that we can service these vacant sites with sewerage? No SEQUA study has been done regarding the few issues that I mention above. The Avalon SEQUA draft study is dated and incomplete.
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 05:14 PM
and as Mrs Wong stated but in addition too? It is not in alignment with the towns OWN master plan for future development on that site.
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 05:15 PM
tsk tsk tsk assumptions assumptions, you know what they say.
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Kim, You have an EXCELLENT POINT!!!!!! Let's put it up for a resolution vote AFTER the Town provides us with a proper Environmental Impact Study. Let the voters who live here decide.
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 05:32 PM
As a follow up and for the record someone asked me about this. "I was unable to locate R3M zoning on any parcels outside of Huntington Station." I, as a non-paid person, only a resident, used the Towns website helix map. When using this Helix map I was trying to look up the Melville AVB site and compare to our zoning as I thought for sure it was the exact same zoning. HOWEVER when I pulled up the adress it did not come up also when I surfed on the map to manually get to the site I noticed that I was unable to look at any other parcel outside of Huntington Station so it is obviously a glitch. I tried to be as clear as possible in the 3 minutes allowed that "I was unable" does not translate to "it does not exist" Thanks again.
Patched Out 2 May 17, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Is Ms. Wong running for a Town Board seat? I just want to be clear regarding intentions of what is being said/posted here.
Jen LaVertu May 17, 2011 at 06:53 PM
people running for office can't post? Why? I don't know if she is or is not running. I don't understand the need to demonize everyone all the time time just because there view is different than yours.


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