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Huntington approves rezoning for housing project

The Huntington Town Board has approved the rezoning of a 1-acre lot at the intersection of Railroad Street, Lowndes Avenue and Columbia Street in Huntington Station from industrial to residential.

The change allows construction of the Columbia Terrace affordable housing project that is part of the Take Back the Blocks program, which aims to convert absentee-landlord dwellings into owner-occupied residences.

The town combined two lots to create the parcel. The town’s plans call for the construction of eight duplex structures, each containing an owner-occupied component and an accessory apartment.

“This is a great step,” town supervisor Frank Petrone said. “The county and town have been in partnership with this for a long, long time. It’s good to move forward.”

The resolution was approved, 4-1, at the town board meeting on Tuesday.

Town board member Mark Mayoka voted against the measure because of concerns about high-density housing in the neighborhood and about an increase in the number of cars the project will bring based on the project’s 16 units of housing.

“I can’t fathom how it’s going to work,” Mayoka said. “That’s 48 cars if there are three cars for each of the 16 units on one acre. I’m an advocate for affordable housing but why does it have to be such a dense development?”

Petrone said the next step is to put bids out to contractors, with construction to begin this summer.

The homes will be open to first-time home buyers selected by lottery. Priority will be given to residents in the Huntington school district.

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