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Long IslandSuffolk

Speonk housing project clears another hurdle after town vote

A scaled-down proposed housing project in Speonk previously criticized by residents cleared one more hurdle Tuesday after the Southampton Town Board voted to unanimously approve two resolutions related to the project.

The board voted 5-0 on both adopting and issuing a negative declaration in relation to a change of zone petition at the 4.27-acre site on the west side of North Phillips Avenue in Speonk. The change was to convert the zoning at the parcel from residential to multifamily residential, which would allow Jericho-based developer Georgica Green Ventures to build — if given final approval — a 38-unit affordable housing complex at the site.

The project will now head to the town’s Planning Board for the site approval process.

The project, which at one point called for building 51 apartment units, had drawn criticism from residents concerned about the potential effects on the area’s traffic and whether it could be a catalyst for more development.

At a public hearing on the project last week at the Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School in Remsenburg, residents spoke mostly in favor of the project, while cautioning the board against setting precedents for larger future projects in the area. About 100 people attended the meeting.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said after the vote that he was surprised at the level of “unity” from town officials and the community in approving the development, and that he hopes the process will lead to a “greater understanding of the need for affordable housing” in Southampton.

Councilwoman Christine Scalera said the project is “uniquely situated” and “will add to the vibrancy” of the area.

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