HUNTINGTON, New York, June 11
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
The requested zone change required to move forward with plans to develop a mixed use building to house medical office and retail center at the southeast corner of East Main Street and Park Avenue was amended Tuesday during a public hearing before the Huntington Town Board.
The proposed change eliminates the possibility of retail uses from the previously proposed plans.
Developer Dominick Mavellia said he made the changes after meeting with town officials and community members concerned that plans reflect the historic nature of the property, which once held Platts Tavern – where George Washington once dined.
“I look forward to working amicably with all those concerned,” Mavellia said.
Among concerns raised at the hearing were the look of the proposed building and preservation of the historic property, traffic problems and fear precedents would be set for the future development of Huntington’s other historic areas.
Resident Laura Dabrowski was one of several people who questioned whether the addition of a medical office building would cause even more headaches at the intersection, already a source of traffic jams during the busiest times of the day.
“I’m still a little concerned about the congestion at that traffic light,” she said. “I drive through that intersection several times a day on my way to work and I sit at that light for a long time.”
Daniel Winkelman, Mavellia’s traffic engineer on the project, said Tuesday he’s examined during peak hours three intersections that would be affected by the plan and projects the “delay would only increase marginally as a result of the project.” Winkelman added that Mavellia has agreed to install a dedicated northbound right turn lane at the intersection of Park Avenue and East Main Street.
“This will help improve the overall operation of the intersection,” he said.
The look of the proposed building was also a concern, and several complained that the design of the medical office is “not historical in nature,” as resident Cynthia Scudieri said.
“Our historic charm and Village Green is of utmost importance to [residents] and is one of the reasons that many of us moved into this area,” she said. “A building of this size and scope is simply ludicrous at this corner, no matter what the zoning.”
Mavellia said, that he has, and will continue to, meet with members of the community, the Huntington Historic Society and Old Huntington Green in order to gather feedback on the design of the building. Mavellia said he has also hired architect Frank Gilmore – who said he has experience dealing with historic projects.
After dozens of speakers addressed the board, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone left the record open for an additional 10 calendar days to extend the comment period before a decision is made. Comments can be submitted to Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander
(Thursday, June 11, 2015; A34)