A proposal to build 12 single-family homes on an estate in Cold Spring Harbor drew public concern at the Huntington Town Planning Board meeting on July 27.
The Estate of Priscilla DeForest Williams and Doug Dwyer, current owners of the DeForest Williams Estates in Cold Spring Harbor, has proposed a plan to subdivide the 42-acre parcel into 15 lots, accommodating 12 single-family homes built on no more than 1.89 acres each. The applicant claims that by cluster-zoning, they will be able to preserve as much open space as possible.
According to Nelson and Pope, the applicant's engineering firm, the plan will preserve over 60% of the parcel's open space, including 25 acres of existing woodlands. The firm also said that existing structures on the property falling within historic districts will not be touched.
16 individuals followed up with responses to the proposal. Many were Cold Spring Harbor residents whose property is adjacent or near the proposed subdivision.
One of the primary concerns expressed was over wildlife such as osprey, owls, fox, deer, and species of rare plants that may be impacted by development.
Beth Baldwin of the North shore Land Alliance suggested that the Town and County team up to purchase some of the acreage for preservation.
“We feel that more conservation is possible and necessary…but that a combination of permanent preservation and limited development may have the best chance of being successful," she said. "We propose that the town and county join to purchase additional land on the plot for preservation.”
Other residents were concerned about disrupting the historic feel of the surrounding community for the building of "McMansions."
"We are against clustered zoning and its adverse impacts on the salient characteristics of historic communities,” said Mary Molloy of Cold Spring Harbor.
One man, however, was supportive of the project.
“I think it’s a well thought-out plan," said Robert Balemian of Cold Spring Harbor. "The issue should be whether it should be 10 lots or 11 lots or 12 lots, not that there should be no subdivision.”
In response to public comments at the hearing, Anthony Guardino, the attorney representing the applicant, said, "The cluster zoning that we are requesting is not because we are going to be developing more lots. [The plan] can be drawn out to comply with the 2 acre compliance, but then you will infringe on open space.”
The Planning Board voted to continue the DeForest Williams Estates public hearing on September 21, at which time any independent reports on the project will be due.
Also at the public hearing, the Planning Board presented a $28,205,000 capital budget for 2012 and approved the Biondo subdivision in Huntington. A relief of dumpster enclosure request from Tutto Pazzo restaurant in Huntington was denied pending further examination at a later date.
The next Town of Huntington Planning Board meeting will be held on August 10.