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Huntington to hold hearing on altering historic properties

A study to determine the unused and potential

A study to determine the unused and potential capacity of the Huntington sewer district is expected to begin this fall. Huntington Town Hall is pictured here. Credit: Carl Corry

The Town of Huntington has scheduled a public hearing next month on a proposal to streamline the approval process for altering properties that are historic or are in historic districts.

Every application for a certificate of approval -- needed for a building permit in a historic district or for a historic structure -- has to go through a series of town board meetings.

At its Sept. 16 meeting, the board will consider amending the code in limited, defined situations where no significant impact on the historic district or site is expected, allowing the town's Historic Preservation Commission to issue the certificate of approval without a town board public hearing.

"It's an effort to make it a little more time efficient for homeowners," Robert Hughes, town historian and secretary of the commission, said.

"Every application for a certificate of approval has to go through a series of three town board meetings: You need a meeting to schedule a public hearing, you have to hold the public hearing and then you have to vote on the application. That will add three months to the process."

"People will still have to go to the preservation commission and get approval from them, and then it goes back to the building department to get a building permit," Hughes said.

Some of the more routine application requests that would have a shortened process include putting in a swimming pool, building a shed or a small addition on a house.

"Pools are the perfect example because people apply for their permits in March with visions of swimming that summer and then we tell them, 'This is going to take you four months' and they don't get their pool until September," Hughes said.

The meeting is at 2 p.m. at Town Hall, 100 Main St.

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