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No More Random Mega-Apartment Complexes in Huntington

During the final decade of the 25-year reign (1991 to 2017) of former Supervisor Frank Petrone over the Town of Huntington, it seemed as though high-density apartment complexes were being approved right and left.

No location was too inappropriate. No already congested traffic pattern was an obstacle. No crony was left unrewarded.

Apartment complexes popped-up in stray parking lots. Beautiful farms and fields were plowed under and paved over with apartments. Traffic volume exploded. Huntington began to lose its rustic semi-rural character.

But a lot of developers and political cronies got rich - off the Town's "changing the zoning."

Huntington now faces a new round of apartment proposals that will - if approved and built - forever change the character of the community.

The "Matinecock Court" apartment complex being planned for the corner of Pulaski and Elwood Roads will add some 150 apartments to an otherwise quiet singe-family home neighborhood. That is 500 new people and 300-plus cars in what has been bucolic woods and fields. This newspaper long opposed Matinecock Court - preferring that it remain woods and parkland. But that project is unfortunately going forward.

Now, the Engel-Burman construction firm wants to purchase a 24-acre horse and equestrian center and farm off Pulaski Road in Greenlawn - and develop it into 260 apartment units. Under current zoning, the area is zoned for no more than 19 single-family homes on one-acre lots.

The zoning change makes no sense. The property is located over 1.3 miles from the nearest town center - downtown Greenlawn - too far to walk. That violates every basic principle of sound urban planning - which directs that high density housing be sited within easy walking distance of mass transit - not plopped-down randomly - in the middle of nowhere - into semi-rural suburban neighborhoods.

And you would be looking at over 500 more cars driving through the quiet neighborhood - a traffic and child safety nightmare.

Both Supervisor Ed Smyth (R) and Councilman Gene Cook (R) have said "Enough" and voted to deny the Engel-Burman proposal. Let's hope that the other three members of the Board see the light.


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