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Developer outlines study for proposed Indian Hills senior development

Huntington Town has ordered a review of potential environmental impacts of a plan to build senior housing at Indian Hills Golf Course in Fort Salonga.

Senior housing is proposed at the Indian Hills

Senior housing is proposed at the Indian Hills Golf Course in Fort Salonga. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

The developer of a proposed senior housing complex opposed by Fort Salonga neighbors has submitted for public review an outline of what will be included in an environmental report.

Hauppauge-based Northwind Group has submitted a "draft scope" for the proposed transformation of the Indian Hills Golf Course into The Preserve at Indian Hills.

A draft scope is a table of contents of what a consultant should study in order for the town to analyze the project properly and eventually a draft environmental impact statement, which also will be submitted by the developer, Huntington Town officials said. Included in a draft scope is a look at a project's impact on water quality, traffic and other issues.

The planning board on Aug. 8 issued a positive declaration for the project, which means town officials believe there is potential significant impact that needs to be explored. That declaration triggered the need for a draft environmental impact statement. A draft scope is not always required, town officials said.

“It’s an extra step we’re going through to increase public involvement,” said Tony Aloisio, director of the town's Department of Planning and Environment.

“This was a discretionary step on behalf of the planning board; we just felt it was important to get all the input from the civic group that is concerned about this project and the general public,” he said.

The draft scope is available for public review and comment until Sept. 17. The Preserve at Indian Hills Draft Scope document can be viewed on the town’s website under the Planning and Environment Department page, under Site Specific Plans, Reports & Studies (select Senior Living Projects or Residential Projects).

The proposed Preserve at Indian Hills is a 55-and-over clustered subdivision of 99 lots with 98 dwellings and a clubhouse/fitness center on an existing golf course and several adjoining properties totaling 154.56 acres.

The development will include 49 duplex buildings, generally located in three areas of the site where there is existing road access and clustered to preserve open space pursuant to state and town law.

“We’re working with the community and the town to provide any and all documents needed to move forward toward a preliminary site plan approval,” Jim Tsunis, managing member of Northwind, said. “We’re only asking for the amount of homes that are permitted under the current zoning."

John Hayes, president of the Fort Salonga Property Owners Association, which was created to oppose the development mostly over concerns about its environmental impact on the community, said his group is reviewing the document.

“It’s not an acceptable plan for the neighborhood that’s for sure,” Hayes said. “He’s still seeking the absolute maximum that the yield map allows for 98 units plus the club, and some of the units proposed are really intrusive to the neighborhood.”

Comments on the draft scope can be submitted via email to planning@huntingtonny.gov or by mail addressed to: Huntington Town Hall, Department of Planning and Environment (Room 212), Attn: The Preserve at Indian Hills Draft Scope, 100 Main St., Huntington, New York 11743.

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