The Huntington Board of Zoning Appeals deferred a decision on a variance for the construction of apartments in Huntington Village at its meeting on Thursday evening in order to comply with state environmental review laws.
The proposed "upscale" apartments would be built as an 5,105 square-foot, second-floor expansion at 17 Green St., said Jim Margolin, the attorney for the applicant, Value Drugs owner Peter Pastorelli. The structure is currently an office and storage building that serves as corporate offices for the local drugstore chain. If the variance is approved, the existing storage space would be converted to retail and office space.
Pastorelli was seeking a variance from the board to legalize the existing retail space and use nearby municipal parking lots to satisfy space requirements for the offices. Potential tenants in the apartments would park elsewhere, according to Pastorelli.
Margolin said that the building would need 15 more spaces to comply with Town Code, excluding three spaces that are informally shared with St. John's Episcopal Church.
John Breslin, a real estate expert who spoke on behalf of the applicant, said the apartments were an example of "smart growth" that would provide economic benefits for the community.
"People will be able to live, possibly work, dine and/or shop," Breslin said. He added that the proposed apartments would make Huntington Village even more desirable compared to other downtowns on Long Island.
"Our downtown is the one that the others seek to replicate," Breslin said.
Several board members said they approved of the design.
"It's a rather impressive layout," board member Carol Gaughran said.
However, the board tabled the decision to study further environmental reviews of the building. The board has 60 days to reach a decision.
Pastorelli had recently come before the board with another case to obtain a special permit to use outdoor displays in front of his Value Drugs stores. The final vote was deferred and a decision hadn't been reached in that case either as of Thursday evening.