Huntington planning board recommends rezoning for East Northport senior housing

An architectural rendering by Robert M. Swedroe Architects An architectural rendering by Robert M. Swedroe Architects and Planning company shows the front view of a building designed for the Seasons at Elwood.

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The Huntington planning board has voted to recommend to the town board that it approve rezoning for the controversial Seasons at Elwood in East Northport.

The board voted 6 to 0 Wednesday to make the recommendation with eight conditions, including limiting the proposed community to 256 age-restricted units on the 37.05-acre site of the Oak Tree Dairy on Elwood Road.

The developer, Garden City-based Engel Burman Group, needs a zone change from 1-acre residence to retirement community district to build the project. The town board is expected to vote on the zone change Aug. 19.

The plan has faced constant opposition from nearby residents worried about traffic, the environmental impact and the project's density since it was proposed in 2012. The project was scaled back last month from 360 to 256 units.

"The town board did an excellent job in effecting a compromise, frankly, to reducing it to 256 units," said Paul Mandelik, chair of the planning board.

The conditions outlined by the planning board include a mandate that the project include affordable units, as required by town code. Also, the applicant, at its expense, must provide traffic improvements contained in the environmental action form/traffic study.

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The developer also has to install a traffic signal at the entrance to the development, as well as any other related traffic improvements that Suffolk County might request.

The setbacks for building and parking must be no less than what is shown in a supplemental expanded environmental form filed this month; any soil contamination issues must be addressed in accordance with town cleanup standards; and residential buildings have to be varied in appearance -- style, rooflines, facade, materials, color, type of windows.

Also, the northeast part of the property must provide substantial open space and be enhanced for "scenic vistas" on Elwood Road.

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