A plan to create a park and build affordable senior housing and a house of worship in Melville took a big step forward Tuesday night.
The Huntington Town Board voted to change the zoning on 18 acres on Deshon Drive from light industry to garden apartment. It also approved a request to transfer some development rights from Meyer’s Farm in Melville to the Deshon Drive property.
The margin was 4-1, with the dissenting vote cast by board member Eugene Cook.
The changes will allow New York City-based Deshon Partners Llc to proceed with plans to buy the 18 acres from the Tribune Company and build a gated community of 261 units, each priced in the mid-$300,000s, for those 55 and older on 13 acres. Deshon Partners would sell the remaining 5 acres to members of Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha-Northeast, a Hindu group known as BAPS, to build a house of worship.
“We are certainly ecstatic the board approved the motion,” said Uday Joshi of BAPS on Tuesday night. “We look forward to growing roots in this community.”
BAPS, which owns Meyer’s Farm, would sell it to the town for use as a park. Development rights for the farm would be transferred to the Deshon Drive land, allowing the developer to exceed density there. Deshon Partners’ land would be restricted to “affordable senior housing.”
The Deshon Drive property includes the Paterson Building, the former home for Newsday's Star Publications, which are now based in Newsday's nearby headquarters.
Above: Deshon Drive aerial rendering of the proposed construction on the Patterson Building site in Melville. (May 23, 2012)