More than 200 people packed Huntington Town Hall this week to voice support of and opposition to plans for an assisted living facility in Dix Hills.
Town officials held a public hearing Tuesday on Baltimore-based Brightview Senior Living’s application for a zoning variance that would allow construction of a 166-unit facility on 10 acres zoned for single-family homes on Deer Park Avenue north of Talisman Drive.
The project would be a $50 million to $60 million investment in the community that would create 150 temporary construction jobs and 125 full- and part-time jobs once it was complete, said David Holland, 49, vice president of development for Brightview.
Supporters said the region has a demand for more senior housing, while opponents said the project would worsen traffic, and that odors from an on-site waste water treatment plant would diminish surrounding property values.
“I can’t explain away a 100-space parking lot surrounding a three-story assisted living facility that receives large deliveries and emergency care 24/7,” said Debra Servinskas, whose backyard abuts the property where the assisted living center has been proposed. “Will Brightview make up the difference in home sale values that plummet once they build this facility? Of course not.”
Bill Bernstein, 71, of Dix Hills, recalled hearing the same arguments decades ago when another assisted living facility — Sunrise of Dix Hills — was first proposed. He lives about 32 yards from Sunrise and its wastewater treatment plant, and said that none of the dire predictions people had about that facility ever came to pass.
“About 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day,” Bernstein said. “At some point, some of those [people] are going to need a facility like this, and some percentage of those live locally. It seems to make sense to me that given that people like this ... are economically affluent, that we would want to keep them in the area and keep them part of the local economy.”
The town board has 90 days to vote on the project before they are required to hold another public hearing or vote for an extension.