At the Town of Huntington Planning Board meeting Wednesday night, hundreds of people showed up to voice their opinion about changing the town’s comprehensive plan to allow a developer to build an $80 million commercial development on Jericho Turnpike in Elwood.
The town board in December directed the planning board to prepare an amendment to the Horizons 2020 Comprehensive Plan to classify the 49.28-acre property as commercial use. The zoning now is low-density residential.
The site needs to be in conformance with the comprehensive plan for a zoning change request by the developer, Great Neck-based Villadom Corp., to be approved.
More than 50 people addressed the board, mostly in opposition, citing concerns over the environment, traffic and what they said was an outdated business model to build a large-scale shopping center when e-commerce is on the rise. Some said the real need in the town is affordable housing and that should be considered.
Those who spoke in support of the project said the site is along a commercial corridor that is not fit for residential housing. In addition they said the project would offer a tax benefit for the Elwood school district.
The planning board is expected to give a recommendation to the town board in about two weeks. The earliest the town board could vote on the change would be September, town officials said.