By Jano Tantongco
The Huntington Town Board approved two pieces of legislation Tuesday, one set on mandating affordable housing and the other regulating parking requirements.
Councilwomen Tracey Edwards and Susan Berland both co-sponsored both proposals.
“It’s been a long time coming for us to make some substantial changes for affordable housing for millennials,” Edwards said. “I’m just very, very proud and very excited that we made this step and had the full support of the board.”
The affordable housing bill creates a new chapter in town code through which the town can mandate mixed-use buildings in a C-6 or C-5 zone to have 20 percent affordable housing. Previously, the town could only create affordable housing when rezoning occurred.
“I’m very happy that both resolutions had passed because they really do go hand in hand. It’s important to provide affordable housing opportunities for young people, seniors and single adults, anybody who wants to live in a place like Huntington village, but right now, they’ve been priced out,” Berland said. “And, they will have a place to park, which is even better.”
The new parking law mandates that all residential development over stores in commercial zones must provide either on-site parking or must utilize a parking lot no more than 1,500 feet from the building. It prohibits such developments from using municipal lots toward their parking requirements.
Some critics of the parking legislation previously said if parking availability was restricted, it could reduce the potential for the kind of denser development required for affordable development. Asked about these critiques, Edwards said the laws are stand-alone and would not conflict.
“As soon as we get the parking garage, which I hope will be not a long time coming, then we’ll take a look to see if we actually need this legislation going forward,” Edwards said. “And, if we do not, then we should repeal it.”