Board Considering Lifting Restrictions On Melville Property

By Jano Tantongco

jtantongco@longislandergroup.com

The Huntington Town Board is considering the removal of restrictions placed on this 881 Walt Whitman Road in Melville – located behind Bertucci’s restaurant, which is pictured right. In their current state, the restrictions mandate that parkland for adjacent West Hills County Park would be dedicated if the property is developed.

The Huntington Town Board is considering the removal of restrictions placed on this 881 Walt Whitman Road in Melville – located behind Bertucci’s restaurant, which is pictured right. In their current state, the restrictions mandate that parkland for adjacent West Hills County Park would be dedicated if the property is developed.

The Huntington Town Board has scheduled a public hearing to consider removing restrictions that would have called for parkland to be dedicated if a Melville property was developed.

The property, 881 Walt Whitman Road, is currently protected by a declaration of covenants and restrictions that were previously established when there was a plan to build a daycare center on the property, which is located behind Bertucci’s restaurant. The covenants and restrictions stipulated that 0.8 acres of the land would be dedicated as parkland for the adjacent West Hills County Park if the land was developed.

“That plan has fallen through,” said A.J. Carter, town spokesman. And now there’s a “proposal for a different use.”

This time, applicant Whitman 881-I wants to build a Home Goods store on the property.

“And that’s why the town board needs to rescind the covenants,” Carter said.

The town board has scheduled a hearing on the proposal for 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 at Huntington Town Hall.

The zoning board granted previously variances for the property in April 2015 to permit retail space, as well as to allow two buildings created on the lot, according to Carter. Bertucci’s is already currently on the same lot.

In 2002, the town board granted a zone change for the property, turning it from R-10 residence district to C-1 office-residence district in order to advance the plan to build the proposed 21st Century Kids daycare center.

However, with the zone change, also came the covenants and restrictions to dedicate parkland. It also stated that, if construction didn’t start within two years of the rezoning, then the zoning would revert back to residential.

Carter said that the dedication of parkland is not part of the Home Goods plan.

The property was previously the center of a dispute between the zoning board and town board, which argued jurisdiction over whether the former had the power to modify covenants and restrictions initially put in place by the town board.

An attorney for applicant Whitman 881-I could not be reached for comment before deadline Tuesday