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Amityville may create transit zone to help boost development

The proposed district would encompass 48 acres of property surrounding the village’s LIRR station and would be part of a luxury apartment complex that would include more units per acre than current code allows.

A proposed luxury apartment project at the LandTek

A proposed luxury apartment project at the LandTek Group headquarters in Amityville would include 115 multifamily rental units starting at $2,000 per month. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The Amityville Board of Trustees is considering the creation of a transit-oriented zone as part of a proposed luxury apartment project.

A public hearing on the proposal will be held on Monday.

Many local municipalities are creating special zoning districts as a way to boost development and downtown revitalization, including Lindenhurst Village, which created such a zone last year.

Greentek/R & S Realty Corp. is seeking to take 2.4 acres of land owned by its affiliate, LandTek, at 235 County Line Rd. and 124 Greene Ave. and create 115 multifamily rental units. The units will mostly be studios and one bedrooms, said Trustee Nick LaLota, and will start at $2,000 per month, with amenities such as rooftop lounges that will make it a “Melrose Place right here in Amityville.”

Amityville’s current zoning does not allow for more than 12 housing units per acre. The proposed district would apply to 48 acres of property surrounding the Amityville Long Island Rail Road station, bound by Broadway, County Line Road, Sterling Place and West Oak Street. To apply for the proposed zoning, a property would have to be within those parameters, be zoned for industrial use and exceed 1.5 acres. Buildings constructed within the zone could not be more than 38 feet high, and the maximum density for units would be 35 per acre.

The only other property within the district’s boundaries that would qualify for the new zoning is 24 Sterling Place, currently the home of self-storage and auto service businesses. At least 65 apartments could be built on the 1.8 acre site, but village officials said no applications have been submitted.

For certain incentives from the developer — such as creating park space or making infrastructure improvements — the board of trustees could allow building heights up to 48 feet and a density up to 48 units per acre. The proposed district requires any project to comply with a state law requiring developers with five or more housing units to allocate 10 percent of the apartments for affordable workforce housing.

“I guess that’s something the village will have to live with,” said LaLota.

According to the report, GreenTek has had preliminary conversations with the Babylon Industrial Development Agency for a 20-year PILOT, or Payment In-Lieu of Taxes, which the company stated is necessary to obtain financing. The report states that the village will receive 2.5 times more tax revenue from the site being developed for apartments as opposed to the industrial use it is currently zoned for. For the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year, the village received about $24,000 for the site: in 20 years with the GreenTek project, that amount will increase to more than $800,000, the report estimates.

Mayor Dennis Siry said the apartments will be a “boost in the arm” for the village, with the new residents utilizing downtown businesses. The project will also show that the village is serious about downtown revitalization, he said, and could have a “ripple effect” of driving new businesses to open in the downtown.

The hearing is at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 21 Ireland Place.

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