Zoning change opens way for Huntington hotel

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The Town of Huntington is on its way to having a namesake hotel.

The town board approved a zoning change at its monthly meeting Tuesday night that will allow the construction of a 55-room boutique hotel in the downtown area.

The developers must now get height and parking variances for the project, which would include an addition to the century-old building at 227 Main St. that once served as town hall.

The board's unanimous vote designates a historic overlay district - a concept created several years ago to give owners of historic commercial properties and large residential estates the flexibility to explore additional uses beyond underlying zoning to help preserve historic buildings.

The only other existing historic overlay district in town is Oheka Castle.

The plan by Green Street Llc and 227 Main Street Llc calls for the original building, currently used for offices, to be the hotel's lobby. The addition would be built above an existing parking lot on Stewart Avenue and would serve as the area for guest rooms, a breakfast room, lounge and meeting rooms. A glass atrium would connect the two buildings.

The height variance is needed because the proposed three-story addition counts as four stories because the parking lot would be considered the first floor.

"But we will not exceed the roof line of the existing structure of the old town hall," said Emerson Dobbs, who owns the current building and is one of the project's investors.

The parking variance is needed because under town code the proposed changes to the building would require 55 more parking spaces than currently allotted to the building. Dobbs and his group would pay $2,000 per parking space to the town, money that would be earmarked to maintain public parking facilities.

Dobbs said he is hopeful construction will begin in the spring.

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Also at Tuesday night's meeting, the board unanimously voted to hold a public hearing Sept. 21 to consider the adoption of a local law to prohibit an elected town supervisor, board member, receiver of taxes, town clerk and highway superintendent from serving more than two consecutive four-year terms in the same elective office.

The measure was sponsored by Mark Mayoka, the only Republican on the board.

The meeting was the first to be videotaped for airing at a later date on Cablevision and Verizon government access channels and the town's website. Planning board and zoning board of appeals meetings will also be recorded and aired.

The $68,000 in TV and audio equipment, including a computer interface and hard drive to store the digital signals, was paid for from cable access grants from the two program providers negotiated as part of their franchise agreements with the town.

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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