Huntington OKs AvalonBay housing site 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)

AvalonBay Huntington Station is one step closer to ground-breaking.

The development company has received site plan approval from the town planning board to build a 379-unit complex near the Long Island Rail Road station.

The community, a mix of rentals and for-sale units, will be built on a 26.6-acre site on East 5th Street, a half-mile east of the LIRR stop in Huntington.

"We're in a good place right now," Christopher Capece, senior development director of AvalonBay Communities Inc., said Monday. "The soil remediation has been ongoing since last summer and site plan approval was the next step in the process in order to put shovels in the ground on buildings."

Next up Capece said the company must get town building permits and finish the approval process with Suffolk County for sewer and water systems.

He said the company already has applications before the appropriate boards.

Town planning board approval was given last week.

A.J. Carter, town spokesman, said he did not know how long the building permit process would take.

The development first came to widespread community attention in March 2010. That's when it was introduced as part of a transit-oriented district zone-change proposal that was quickly met with opposition from area residents.

The proposal was voted down in September 2010 and a scaled-down version resurfaced a few months later and was approved by the town board in June 2011.

In September of that year, the Greater Huntington Civic Group sued in State Supreme Court to stop the project, but in November a judge denied the merits of the lawsuit and threw it out. The group filed an appeal in January.

"It's been a long road but we're happy we got site plan approval," Capece said.

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