A zoning change request for a historic site in Huntington goes back before the town board after stalling in 2016.
The change, if approved, would make way for the development of the corner of Route 25A (East Main Street) and Park Avenue — just east of downtown Huntington — a site once visited by George Washington. A former gas station building now brightly painted stands on the site now and is used once a week for a few hours as a food pantry. A deli is also currently located on the property.
Deer Park-based developer Dominick Mavellia recently resubmitted an application that would change the property, which sits within the Old Huntington Green Historic District, from a residence district to an office residence district. He has proposed building a 10,000-square-foot office building on the site.
Historic preservation groups in 2015 opposed the 10,000-square-foot building proposal cited in the zoning change application. Although a public hearing was held the town board did not vote on the application.
Mavellia has said he went back and “tweaked” the proposal and tried to incorporate a 16th- to 18th-century look to the design to accommodate the concerns, but that he also had to keep in mind what would work for his potential tenant. He presented in 2016 a scaled-down plan of an 8,000 square foot building that featured a more historical design.
The town board held a second public hearing but did not vote on that zone change request either.
The town planning board in June made recommendations that — based on traffic, historic character and drainage issues — certain conditions should be met for approval, including any building or combination of buildings should not exceed 8,000 square feet.
Mavellia’s attorney, Huntington-based John Breslin, said discussions among Mavellia, architects, historic groups and the community have been held.
“I don’t think anybody who looks at that property and thinks where it’s located at the intersection of two busy roads thinks that it should be zoned residential as opposed to business, especially in light of the fact that it’s been used as a gas station and deli,” Breslin said.
Paul Warburgh, president of Old Huntington Green Inc., said his organization, which opposed the 10,000-square-foot building and its design in 2015, but supported the modified version, does not think reoffering the original plan will work.
“The original 10,000-square-foot design is not appropriate for the historic district,” Warburgh said. “As offered now, we would oppose it.”
Breslin said at this point the size of the building is not germane to the zoning change.
“The rezoning does not dictate the size of the building," Breslin said. "They still would have to go through the site plan approval process.”
The town board has set a public hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at Town Hall, 100 Main St.