Huntington board rejects service station again

Huntington Town Hall Huntington Town Hall Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

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For the second time, the Huntington Town Board has rejected a request by a property owner to build a service station in a historic district.

At Tuesday night's town board meeting the board unanimously rejected Seamus Coyle's bid for a certificate of approval in the Mill Lane Historic District to build a two-story, three-bay service station at 114 Prime Ave.

Last year the board rejected the same request after hearing from neighbors that they did not think the shop was appropriate there. Coyle sued in State Supreme Court and in a ruling in December, the judge said the town board needed to reconsider the denial and hold another public hearing because the rejection of the application was not based on a "scintilla of evidence in the record."

"We'll go back to court," John Breslin Jr., the attorney representing Coyle, said after the vote. "I don't think he'll be pleased," he said, referring to the judge.

At the meeting, an assistant town attorney submitted photographs of the district's historic homes and a petition to the board opposing the station to be placed into the record.

The town director of planning and environment also testified that the department found a service station was not an appropriate use for the lot, and the public safety director said Coyle had been cited for 17 notices of violation.

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Coyle has already received a variance from the zoning board of appeals to allow building an auto service shop, and approvals from the town planning board and historic preservation committee.

Neighbor Tara Froehlich said even if the decision is appealed, residents will continue to fight its approval.

"We've been fighting this for eight years," she said.

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