Group to appeal ruling on AvalonBay plan

An artist's rendering illustrates the proposed AvalonBay affordable

An artist's rendering illustrates the proposed AvalonBay affordable housing project in Huntington Station. (Credit: Handout)

The opposition to the proposed AvalonBay housing complex in Huntington Station continues.

The Greater Huntington Civic Group has filed an appeal in state Supreme Court to overturn a judge's November decision denying the merits of the group's original lawsuit to stop the 379-unit complex, according to Steven Spucces, group president.

But, town spokesman A.J. Carter said Monday, "We believe the judge ruled properly and we will make our arguments in the appellate court."

The civic group, which announced the appeal Sunday, believes the zoning change approved by the Huntington Town Board in June 2011 for the project is inconsistent with the town's comprehensive plan, adopted by the board in 2008.

The group also has a problem with the 14.5 units per acre the zone change allows because it exceeds the density of the surrounding community, including other multifamily dwellings. The property was originally zoned for 109 single-family homes. The group also contends the State Environmental Quality Review Act, SEQRA, an environmental impact review, was never carried out before the town approved the project.

"The proper SEQRA wasn't followed and it's spot zoning because that size of a project does not match surrounding area projects," Spucces said Monday.

The project has met stiff opposition since a larger proposal was unveiled in early 2010 for a 26.6-acre site about a half-mile from the Huntington Long Island Rail Road station, on the north side of East Fifth Street, bordering Manor Park on the west and the LIRR tracks on the north.

In September 2011, the civic group filed suit in state Supreme Court against Huntington Town and its planning board, developer AvalonBay Communities Inc. and property owner Evergreen Estates in an effort to reverse the board's decision. The lawsuit was dismissed Nov. 19.

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