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Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico withdraws resolution, wants to revisit multifamily housing plan

Brookhaven Town councilman Dan Panico was appointed the

Brookhaven Town councilman Dan Panico was appointed the town’s deputy supervisor Dec. 24. (June 28, 2011) Credit: David Pokress

Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico withdrew a resolution to amend town code that was intended to increase multifamily housing in designated zones.

The move was made at Wednesday’s town board meeting. Panico plans to revise the resolution and introduce similar legislation to amend chapter 85 of town code at a future date.

“I realize the town should have flexibility in its building code to allow multifamily housing to be built where communities want it,” Panico said after the meeting. “The resolution needed to be changed, and that was in response to a great deal of community input and ideas.”

He added, “I’m going to work with the community and our law department to craft something that meets the needs of communities that do want multifamily housing, but also protect those that want to keep a rural characteristic for their neighborhood.”

Under the resolution, Panico wanted to “clearly define” appropriate areas for multifamily housing.

The councilman aimed to increase what is called the primary housing zone — defined by town code as within 500 feet of a main street business district — to 1,320 feet from such a district.

The primary zone would have had a density of 12 units per acre under Panico’s proposal.

A secondary zone would extend to 2,640 feet and would have had density of nine units per acre.

A tertiary zone, which the code defines as an area other than primary or secondary zones appropriate for moderate-density housing, would still have had multifamily housing with a density of six units per acre.

The councilman acknowledged multifamily housing would not be appropriate in all parts of the town, such as the Moriches.

Developers cannot build multifamily housing in some areas where it might make sense to do so because of the uniform town code, Panico said.

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