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Huntington approves changes to housing code and parking rules

A motorist feeds the meter for his parking

A motorist feeds the meter for his parking space in the village of Huntington, Feb. 8, 2017. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

Changes were approved Tuesday by the Huntington Town Board to the Affordable Housing Code as well as measures to address the parking crunch in the downtown.

The changes include increasing the number of lower-cost new rentals and assisting young, first-time home buyers. The parking amendments will require developers of apartments over stores in commercial zones to provide on-site or nearby off-site parking for residents.

The updates are aimed at resolving issues the board has long identified as needing to be addressed in downtown Huntington, town officials said.

“This was a long time coming for us to make some substantial changes for affordable housing for millennials,” town board member Tracey Edwards, sponsor of the affordable housing resolution, said. “I’m very, very proud and excited that we’ve made this step and that we had the full support of the board.”

Town board member Susan Berland sponsored the second resolution which will require developers of apartments over stores in commercial zones to provide on-site or nearby off-site parking for residents.

Berland said she is “very happy” that both resolutions passed because they go hand in hand.

“It’s important to provide affordable housing opportunities for young people, seniors, single-adults, anybody who can utilize it and wants to live in a place like Huntington village where right now they’ve been priced out,” Berland said. “They will no longer be priced out, and they will have a place to park which is even better.”

Edwards and Berland were the co-sponsors on each other’s resolution. Both measures were approved 5-0 at the Tuesday town board meeting.

Some of the updates in the affordable housing code include adding language mandated by the Long Island Workforce Housing Act regarding the number of new residential units or mixed use developments, the requirement of a percent of affordable units, and the option of contributing to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for first-time home buyers in lieu of building affordable units.

Another update will ensure that affordable units are substantially the same as market rate units in quality of furnishing, features, location and appearance and requiring residents of affordable housing to file a disclosure statement certifying that the unit is their main residency.

With the parking updates, developers will have to provide one spot for each apartment, which is less than what is normally required for such new residences. Parking would need to be provided at the development or within 1,500 feet of it.

As part of the proposed parking amendment, municipal lots would no longer be used to calculate residential parking for apartments over stores. Such lots would continue to be counted for the commercial component of the mixed-use development.

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