Lawyers, Resident Sound Off On Melville Housing Plan

  Uniondale-based attorney William Bonesso presents an updated rendering of the proposed 56-unit Melville Crossing apartment buildings to the town board during a public hearing last week.

Uniondale-based attorney William Bonesso presents an updated rendering of the proposed 56-unit Melville Crossing apartment buildings to the town board during a public hearing last week.

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

A developer’s plan to construct 56 apartments in an industrial area of Melville drew little opposition at a public at hearing last week before the Huntington town board.

Eight speakers, including developer Arnold Marcus, of Farmingdale-based construction company The Marcus Organization, spoke in favor of the proposed residential development that, if approved, would comprise 56 apartments, 32 two- and 24 one-bedrooms split evenly across two buildings.

One resident spoke last week in opposition to the plan.

The site of the proposed development is bordered in the north by parts of the Avalon residential communities and by manufacturing and UPS facilities to the south and west.

“We determined that a multi-family development option would be far more compatible with the adjacent residential communities,” Marcus said at the hearing.

Marcus, who purchased the property in 2003, has asked the Huntington Town Board to approve a zone change from R-40 Residential to R-3M Garden Apartments for the 3.86-acre site along the Huntington/Babylon border. The property spans portions of both towns, with 2.66 acres in Huntington and 1.2 acres in Babylon.

Uniondale-based attorney William Bonesso, who is representing The Marcus Organization, said the location and surrounding land use makes the property ill-suited for one acre residential homes.

“The Melville Crossing apartments will provide a more suitable transitional residential use for the developments to the north than does the existing parking lot,” Bonesso said.

Several residents, including Helen Boxwill, of Huntington Station, supported the proposed development because it would increase the Town’s share of affordable and rental housing.

Current affordable housing regulations require that 20 percent, or 11 units, of the proposed apartments be designated as affordable.

“Our town has to have housing for all its people, whether their young professionals, workers, families or seniors, and rentals are a very important part of it,” Boxwill said.

The town board could vote on the zone change as soon as its next meeting, which is 2 p.m., July 17 at town hall.