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Long IslandTowns

Public hearing set for housing at Oak Tree Dairy site

The Huntington Town board is ready to hear the application for the Seasons at Elwood, after two years.

Residents upset over the density of the proposed 360-unit senior housing development at the former site of the Oak Tree Dairy in East Northport are unhappy the town agreed on Tuesday to hold a public hearing on June 17.

"I was under the impression that the Elwood community would still have an opportunity for continued dialogue with the builder and the town before we went to the public hearing," Loretta Hammond, an Elwood Road resident for 41 years, said at Tuesday's town board meeting. "We still have issues that need to be worked out."

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said setting a public hearing will finally move everything forward.

The original plan, submitted in March 2012, was for the Engel Burman Group of Garden City to build 444 homes on the 36.87-acre parcel on Elwood Road. The community rejected the proposal and also balked at a revised plan for 396 homes.

The developer submitted an amended application to the town for 360 homes in late January. For the development to be built, the town would have to make a zone change from 1-acre residence to retirement community district. The latter allows for 14.5 homes per acre, and Engel Burman is asking for about 9.75 per acre.

Tuesday's vote for the public hearing was approved 4-1 with board member Eugene Cook voting no. He said the community and developer need to be closer to agreement over density before a public hearing. "I'd like to see The Seasons get something here, but I think they have to bring down the density quite a bit," Cook said.

About two dozen residents addressed the board with the number about evenly split between those for and against the project.

"In my opinion, the developer has addressed all the questions of anything we thought would stand in the way in the progress of this community," said Michael DeLuise of the Melville Chamber of Commerce.

Michael McCarthy, the attorney representing Engel Burman, said the developer is willing to continue to meet with residents until -- and even after -- the public hearing.

Steven Krieger, principal of Engel Burman, said he believes the proposal has overwhelming support. "We are pleased that the town board has decided to schedule a public hearing," he said. "We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the community and ultimately receiving an approval from the town board."

The hearing will be at 7 p.m. during the town board meeting at Town Hall, 100 Main St.

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