By Danny Schrafel
Huntington’s Town Board on Tuesday voted to give a developer seeking to build a new hotel in Melville 90 more days to hash out differences with neighbors opposed to the plan before voting on a necessary zone change, officials said.
Attorney William Bonesso, representing applicant OTO Development, said his client has “made some proposed modifications” aimed at easing the criticisms leveled by the owners of Rubie Corporate Plaza, located next door at the intersection of Route 110 and the Long Island Expressway service road, and others.
“We’re trying to work out an agreement with him, and the town board is giving us time to do that,” Bonesso said Monday.
Plans call for a 160-room, four-story Hyatt Place hotel to be built on 3 acres at 500 Broadhollow Road in Melville, located on the western side of Route 110 just south of the Rubie Corporate Plaza and the LIE. If a zone change from I-1 Light Industrial to C-10 Planned Motel District is awarded by the Huntington Town Board, OTO Development can proceed to the zoning board of appeals for variances.
Neighboring property owners have objected, arguing the proposal overdevelops the parcel and creates dangerous traffic conditions by offering only southbound ingress and egress onto Route 110.
Bonesso said that modified site plans submitted last week “flipped” the Hyatt Place building so the “front of the building” faces Rubie’s, he said. The new plans would also double the distance between the proposed Hyatt Place and Rubie and increase the number of parking spaces from 169 to 180.
Previously, Alan Katz, a member of Sherwood 510 LLC, owner of property at 510 Broadhollow Road; Jan Burman, president of LBA Melville Associates, which owns property neighboring the Rubie Corporate Plaza on the South Service Road; and Marc P. Beige, a member of Broadhollow Associates LLC, owner of the Rubie Corporate Plaza, filed protest petitions. Those petitions were deemed valid by the town’s planning department, meaning a four-vote supermajority will be needed to ratify the zone change.
With Councilman Mark Cuthbertson vocal in his opposition to the proposal, the remaining four voting members of the Town Board would have to vote in favor of the zone change. Councilwomen Susan Berland and Tracey Edwards have come out in support of the plan; Supervisor Frank Petrone has not weighed in either way, but said he is “encouraged” by the ongoing discussions, town spokesman A.J. Carter said.
“OTO and the neighbors are still talking, and the supervisor notes that the extension gives them the opportunity to continue talking to resolve their differences,” Carter said.