The Suffolk County Legislature is scheduled to vote Tuesday on legislation that would push forward construction of a controversial affordable housing development proposed in 1978 for East Northport.
The vote is to consider approving $2.4 million to go toward costs — including for a sewage treatment plant — of the Matinecock Court development planned for a 14.5-acre site at the northwest intersection of Elwood and Pulaski roads. The money is from a county grant for developments that pledge to build housing for the learning disabled. Eight units in the community are aside for that purpose.
The developer, Huntington-based Blue Sea Development, is planning to create a community of 146 units split between affordable rentals and affordable owner-occupied units in 17 buildings. The buildings will be two-story garden apartment walk-ups each with an exterior entrance. Habitat for Humanity will also be constructing 15 units within the development. A community building will also be built on the property.
Blue Sea is working in partnership with Greenlawn-based nonprofit Matinecock Court Housing Development Fund Corp., which owns the land and is an affiliate of Housing Help.
Blue Sea president, Les Bluestone, went before the county’s Government Operations, Personnel, Information Tech and Housing committee last week to discuss the project.
All permits and approvals — including site plan, building and the sewage treatment plant — have been secured, he said at the committee hearing.
Bluestone and Susan Lagville, executive directior of Matinecock Court Housing Development Fund Corp., did not return calls for comment.
The project that was first proposed in 1978 has been delayed by intense local opposition and two lawsuits the nonprofit filed against the Town of Huntington. One of the suits, filed in conjunction with the NAACP in 1988 that alleged discriminatory zoning, reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld a lower court's ruling against the town; the other suit was settled.
“This project is long overdue,” Dick Koubek, vice president of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition. “There’s a great need. Housing Help has gone out their way to build a truly affordable development that truly serves the community.”
The property is near Long Island Rail Road tracks, Northport High School and Pulaski Road Elementary School.
Blue Sea plans to make the community Long Island’s first LEED Platinum certified residential development and first National Green Building Emerald certified multifamily development. Projects that meet environmental and sustainability building standards receive those designations.
Huntington resident Steve Spucces, president of the Greater Huntington Civic Group, said the town and county should have a game plan before proceeding with any high-density housing developments because of the impact those communities have on the environment and infrastructure.
“We’re against residential high-density housing: low income, high income, middle income,” he said. “When I say infrastructure it means the roads, municipal services that would be required for high density housing such as police, ambulance and the schools; we were built as a single-family community, so that’s our infrastructure.”