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Huntington considers code change to help care facilities get built

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, seen on March

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, seen on March 7, 2016, said he has been approached by residents with developmentally-disabled children concerned about where their adult child will eventually live as they, and the child, grow older. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The Huntington town board is considering a change to the town code to allow construction of nonprofit-run care facilities without requiring a zone change.

Normally such facilities — assisted-living centers, nursing homes and life-care communities — would technically fit under the town’s Residential-Health Services zoning category. The code change would update the definition of so-called Congregate Care facilities to include “persons with an Individual Service Plan (ISP) approved by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (NYS OPWDD) regardless of age.”

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said by bypassing the requirement for a zone change it helps local nonprofits build such living facilities in the town for Huntington and Long Island residents.

Petrone said he has been approached by residents with developmentally-disabled children concerned about where their adult child will eventually live as they, and the child, grow older.

Petrone said there are about 11,000 people statewide, with 2,400 on Long Island, who have been on a waitlist for a state-approved congregate care facilities. The state-approved facilities, many of which are upstate or even out of state, cause concern for parents who would like options closer to home, Petrone said.

“We’ve looked at this and asked how can we put something together that would provide for an application that would be like a special use permit that would be monitored and provide for smaller facilities run by a local nonprofit,” Petrone said.

The lot size for the facility would have to be a minimum of two acres with a likely maximum of eight bedrooms. One parking space per bedroom would be required and the facility would have to give the appearance of a single-family home. The special-use permit would be issued by the town board.

“This will help our residents, especially elderly parents,” Petrone said. “Parents would like the child close by, it’s good for them, the child; meanwhile they may get a placement in Syracuse and that’s not feasible because they are getting aged ... to travel that distance, and it’s not a good transition for the child.”

A public hearing on the measure will be held during the regular town board meeting at 2 p.m. Feb. 7 at Town Hall, 100 Main St.

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