A public hearing scheduled for Tuesday evening on the Heartland Town Square development in Brentwood has been canceled after the Suffolk County Planning Commission said a letter objecting to the project from Huntington’s supervisor should have been signed by the entire town board.
The hearing originally was scheduled after Town Supervisor Frank P. Petrone submitted a letter to the county commission on Aug. 31 expressing concerns about the potential impact of the massive development on Commack Road and the Sagtikos Parkway as well as other traffic issues.
But since Petrone’s letter was not signed by the entire Huntington Town Board, the planning commission was advised by its legal department to drop the public hearing, commission chairwoman Jennifer Casey said.
“Because it was a letter from Petrone and it wasn’t a certification from the entire board, that was the reason for” canceling the public hearing, she said. There are no plans to reschedule the hearing and there have been no further objections from other municipalities, Casey said.
A Huntington spokesman said Petrone’s objection letter followed the format of previous letters that had been accepted by the commission in the past.
“Huntington’s position has not changed, and whether the Planning Commission reopens the case is a matter for them to decide,” town spokesman A.J. Carter said in a statement Monday.
Islip Town officials declined to comment.
Heartland developer Jerry Wolkoff has said that the traffic concerns had been addressed repeatedly in the multiple hearings and meetings held in the 15 years since he bought the former Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center site in Brentwood from the state in 2002 for $20 million with the intent to transform it into a massive mixed-use development.
In February, the county planning commission unanimously voted to recommend that the Islip Town board grant Wolkoff’s application to change the zoning for the site from residential to a newly established Pilgrim State Planned Redevelopment District. The Islip Town Board voted unanimously in July to approve both the zoning changes and a limited first phase of Wolkoff’s plan.
The Heartland development lies wholly within the Islip borders, but the surrounding towns had 20 days after Islip submitted its decision to the county to raise objections to the rezoning. Only Petrone submitted an objection.
Wolkoff said he felt vindicated by the dismissal of Petrone’s objections. “There’s no reason to have scheduled it,” Wolkoff said of the hearing. “I didn’t do anything wrong to start with.”