The Huntington Town Board is looking to update the town code so its members and the zoning board of appeals won't make decisions that conflict with each other.
The update would establish a procedure so that an application requiring changes to covenants and restrictions would go to the town board first. It would rule on changes before the zoning board considered any variances being sought.
"There's no directive to the zoning board that if there is property that has covenants and restrictions imposed on it by the town board that the town board should be the one to issue a decision regarding those covenants and restrictions before the zoning board renders its decision on the zoning of the property," town board member Susan Berland said.See also2013 Huntington payrolls
The town board is to hold a public hearing on the issue Tuesday.
The push for the code change comes after an April decision by the zoning board to approve variances for a proposed Home Goods store on Route 110 in Melville.
The lot where the store would be built has covenants and restrictions that were placed on it by the town board when a day care center was planned there. Some of the covenants and restrictions limited hours of operation and the number of parking spaces. The day care center was never built.
Berland said the zoning board should have sent the Home Goods application to the town board, especially after the planning department issued a memo saying it should go to the town board for consideration.
The zoning board issued a special use permit for the store but the restrictions on the property are "inconsistent with a Home Goods operating there," Berland said.
Zoning board chairman Christopher Modelewski Monday cited an email he sent to the town board last month.
"The Zoning Board of Appeals has never, to my knowledge, acted in excess of its lawful jurisdiction; and for so long as I serve the people of Huntington as its Chairman, it never will," he wrote in the email.
He added in the statement that if the town board wanted to decide on the covenants first, "the Zoning Board of Appeals would have respected that request."
Berland said that because the town board had placed the limitations on the lot, "the applicant should have come to the town board for a change of zone, which would have dealt with the covenants and restrictions."
Berland said the town board must still decide what to do about the existing restrictions on the property. The attorney representing Home Goods could not be reached for comment.