Town Hall Update: Lupinacci, Smyth Bring Town Board to the People

The Huntington Town Board held its first meeting on the road at Elwood Middle School on the evening of Thursday, May 17.
 
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Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci sponsored the resolution to move the meeting to Elwood Middle School, a venue with more than double the maximum occupancy at Town Hall, due to high interest in a public hearing on a project known as “Villadom,” a proposed development project in the Elwood area. The move was made to accommodate residents of Elwood and neighboring hamlets. The expected turnout for the public hearing was estimated to be higher than the maximum occupancy of the Town Board Meeting room at Huntington Town Hall.
 
The Town was correct in its assessments. The Fire Marshal counted 652 attendees at the door of the middle school that evening. 99 residents signed up to speak during the public portion; not all speakers lasted until the end of the 4-hour meeting, which wrapped up at approximately11:00 PM.
 
Despite the applicant’s withdrawal of the application for the Villadom project at 12:08 PM the day of the meeting and the Town’s announcement of the withdrawal and cancelled public hearing, the Town welcomed residents to speak during the public portion of the Town Board Meeting.
 
After Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia read the notice of the withdrawal of the Villadom application, Supervisor Lupinacci addressed the room, which was filled with residents opposed to the project:
 
“As there is no longer an application in front of the Town Board, the public hearing for this project is cancelled.
 
"While the applicant may submit a new application in the future, they would need to start the entire process from the beginning, submitting a new plan to the Town, having it reviewed by the Planning Board, which then would make a recommendation to the Town Board regarding the scheduling of a new public hearing."
 
According to the Town’s Planning Department, a new application submitted to the Town could take anywhere from two months to two years, depending on a number of factors, before it would even reach the Town Board for the scheduling of a new public hearing.
 
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At this meeting, the Town Board:
 
·         Appointed members to the Town of Huntington Affordable Housing Advisory Board.
 
·         Adopted an updated, streamlined and combined Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment and Complaint Procedure.
 
·         Authorized the Supervisor to apply for and receive $10 million in New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant funding for Huntington Station.
 
·         Approved a measure supporting various applications for grant funding from the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Program: the Huntington Station BID, seeking funding to install a clock on New York Avenue; the Town of Huntington Economic Development Corporation, seeking funding for ADA modifications for a Halesite bus shelter; the Greenlawn Civic Association, seeking funding to install lampposts inside Greenlawn Memorial Park; and the East Northport Chamber of Commerce, seeking funding to add decorative streetlights and sidewalks on Laurel Road.
 
·         Authorized the Supervisor to apply for and receive funding from Suffolk County to assist in the funding of the Town's Department of Human Services, Senior Citizen Division's expanded in-home services for the elderly.
 
·         Authorized a license agreement for the use of a portion of town lands adjacent to 230 East Jericho Tpke. with Piccolo Family Limited Partnership for $250/year through August 23, 2025. A portion of two cement walkways and a corner of a one story building were encroaching on the Town's right of way. The prior license agreement, which ended in August 2015, only required payment of $10/year.
 
·         Accepted a drainage easement for the subdivision known as Rabut Plat across Lot 1 at no cost to the Town and for the benefit of the Town.
 
·         Authorized the Supervisor to execute a contract for athletic referees for the Town of Huntington with Andrew R. Gray, LLC for soccer games and NIHOA of LI for hockey games.
 
·         Granted permission to the Cold Spring Harbor Main Street Association to sponsor 2018 sidewalk sales and other special events.