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Hundreds crowd meeting on Oak Tree Dairy

Civic activism is alive and well on Long

Civic activism is alive and well on Long Island. Thank goodness.

More than 100 people in a crowd three times that size spoke at a hearing in Huntington Town Hall last week. The topic: a proposed senior housing complex on Elwood Road in East Northport. Supervisor Frank Petrone said the number of speakers -- split roughly evenly between supporters and opponents -- was a town record.

Nothing draws crowds to public meetings like controversial development proposals. Huntington has had its share. Both sides last week were organized and passionate as adherents brandished placards and took turns chanting, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" and "No! No! No!"

We have been on record as supporting this particular plan. But we're even more excited to see so many people participate in the process.
Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

About 300 people have crowded into a Huntington Town board meeting Tuesday night which is scheduled to consider a zone change to allow a controversial 360-unit senior complex in East Northport.

The hearing comes about two years after the developer, Garden City-based Engel Burman Group, submitted a proposal in March 2012 to build 444 homes on 36.87 acres on the site of the Oak Tree Dairy on Elwood Road.

After residents objected to the proposed density of the development and its possible impact on traffic, the developer revised the plan. The community also balked at the revision to 396 homes.

Engel Burman asked in October that the application be pulled from review by the town planning department, so it could further meet with residents. Engel Burman submitted the current plan for 360 units in late January.

Since then, the developer has met several times with residents. In May, residents were upset that the town had set a public hearing because they felt there was still much to discuss about the project's density.

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said at the time that having a public hearing would move the process along.

The meeting is being held at town hall, 100 Main St.

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