By Andrew Wroblewski
The developer proposing a 160-room, four-story Hyatt Place hotel in Melville has requested that the Huntington Town Board once again delay a decision to rezone the property while it continues speaking with neighbors opposed to the hotel.
During its meeting Tuesday, the town board voted to delay ruling on a proposed I-1 Light Industrial to C-10 Planned Motel District zone change, which would be necessary for the plan to move forward to the town’s zoning board. The board delayed ruling on the zone change during the July 14 meeting due to emerging opposition of the plan from neighbors of the property at 500 Broadhollow Road.
“We’re hoping that the board will approve another extension,” attorney William Bonesso, representing applicant OTO Development, said Monday, prior to the meeting.
In the meantime, Bonesso said his client continued to talk with neighbors, including the owner of Rubie Corporate Plaza, which is located immediately north of the proposal’s 3-acre plot. Bonesso said that his client hopes to “accommodate” Rubie Corporate Plaza’s owner, Broadhollow Associates LLC, in hopes of “doing away with opposition.”
First, Bonesso said, his client has proposed to flip the building so that its main entrance would be facing Rubie’s property. “We think it’s a more attractive appearance,” he said.
The flip would also free up some space between the proposed hotel and the northern property line leaving an estimated 69 feet between the building and Rubie’s property.
Bonesso said his client has also offered to eliminate plans of a vehicular pass-through from the proposed hotel to the Rubie’s property. This would help ensure guests of the hotel do not use Rubie’s parking spaces.
OTO has also proposed to shift the curb cut into the property so that traffic may flow more efficiently and to create more parking spaces, Bonesso said.
“We’re waiting to hear back from them on some of the concessions we’ve agreed to make,” Bonesso added.
Marc P. Beige, a member of Broadhollow Associates, said he is still “concerned” about the size of the proposal, which he said could sap parking from Rubie Corporate Plaza.
“Where we have adequate parking at 400 Broadhollow Road, we don’t have an overabundance of parking that can be used by the hotel,” Beige said.
Further opposition has emerged from other neighbors, but Bonesso said those parties do not have “specific objects.” Instead, they feel the proposal is “not appropriate” for the area – a stance that Councilman Mark Cuthbertson has taken in the past. Councilwomen Susan Berland and Tracey Edwards have voiced their support for the project.
Protest petitions were filed by Alan Katz, a member of Sherwood 510 LLC, owner of property at 510 Broadhollow Road and Jan Burman, president of LBA Melville Associates, which owns property neighboring the Rubie Corporate Plaza on the South Service Road
Since the petitions we validated by the town’s planning department, a four-vote supermajority would be required to approve a zone change.