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Huntington Town board again postpones vote on proposed zone change for hotel

A sign outside Huntington Town Hall is seen

A sign outside Huntington Town Hall is seen in an undated photo. Credit: Alexi Knock

The Huntington Town board has voted again to extend the time to vote on a zone change for a proposed 160-room, four-story Melville Hyatt Place.

The board now has until Jan. 16 to decide.

The board voted in July to extend to Oct. 18 the time to vote on a change from light industry to planned motel district for a 3-acre parcel at 500 Broadhollow Rd.

South Carolina-based OTO Development LLC submitted an application to the town board in November 2014 for a zone change to allow a 90,000-square-foot building with meeting rooms and 169 parking spaces. It would go on the west side of Route 110, just south of the Long Island Expressway South Service Road.

Residential neighbors opposed the original plan for a five-story building, so the developer reduced the number of floors by one.

Nearby business owners then filed signed protest petitions to the town opposing the change of zone for the hotel project. If protests are filed by owners covering more than 20 percent of the immediately adjacent property, or 20 percent of the properties opposite on the road (100 feet from the property), a supermajority of the board -- four votes in this case -- is required.

To give the developer and those in opposition an opportunity to talk, the town board voted and approved an extension in July, but that extension was about to expire.

"I think this is a great project and should happen," Susan Berland, sponsor of the latest resolution, said. "I certainly hope the extra time will give the developer and the surrounding property owners ample time to come to an agreement so this can be built."

Town board member Mark Cuthbertson said that while he supports the extension to allow the sides to talk things out, he is no fan of the project.

"I've always thought it was a bad application," Cuthbertson said. "In that section of Melville, it's office area. To add what is essentially a retail type of use is not a good idea. There are outlying areas of Melville where we have located hotels that are more appropriate."

The delay was approved 5-0 at the Oct. 6 town board meeting.


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