Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert, a Democrat representing the 4th...

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert, a Democrat representing the 4th District on June 28, 2011. Credit: David Pokress

Brookhaven Councilwoman Connie Kepert -- supported by a local community organization -- is backing a plan to allow more affordable housing in the hamlet of North Bellport in an effort to attract younger residents and retirees.

A 92-page draft land-use plan for the hamlet would be amended to allow rezoning for a residential area on Atlantic Avenue, west of Station Road near a boys and girls club, that would permit multifamily housing, Kepert said.

While the town board is expected to vote on accepting an environmental-impact statement for the land-use plan at Tuesday's general meeting, that plan does not include the rezoning amendments, which are being reviewed by the town's planning department, Kepert said.

North Bellport leaders back the proposed amendments.

"We have a need in the community for multifamily housing. Housing will attract people to the community," said John Rogers, chairman of The Greater Bellport Coalition. "This is a positive development."

Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said he helped outline where multifamily housing in North Bellport could be added. But he said he hasn't endorsed Kepert's plan largely due to a lack of a sewage treatment facility to serve a multifamily housing development.

"I'm going to wait and see," Romaine said. "I'm not opposed, per se, if the infrastructure is available."

Part of Romaine's agenda this year has been to acquire, refurbish and sell below market value more than 100 vacant and abandoned homes in North Bellport, which would spruce up the area.

For her part, Kepert has long attempted to transform North Bellport into a transit-oriented community with mixed-use development housing and pedestrian-friendly uses.

Earlier this year, she and Rogers said they supported residential housing on 14 acres of wooded land near Montauk Highway and Station Road, just south of the Bellport train station. They said it also would have included a sewer system, shops and stores in an effort to form a business district.

Now they are both supporting the amended plan. If approved and built, the multifamily housing would sit near a section of the hamlet on Atlantic Avenue north of the train station.

The hamlet has seen improvements in recent years marked by the opening of a $4 million boys and girls club, BJ's Wholesale Club, a community care center and $1 million in renovations to Robert Rowley Park.

Hamlet residents billed these moves as positive steps toward giving young people areas for recreation and shopping.

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