By Jano Tantongco
A developer’s plan to build a three-story commercial building with residential apartments in Huntington village requires parking relief in order to move forward.
During a July 7 meeting, the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals heard a request from the applicant to be granted a special use permit in order to utilize municipal parking lots to satisfy parking requirements. Town code requires 28 parking stalls be provided, but plans include six on-site spots and two spots on New York Avenue.
The site, located at 280 New York Ave., is planned to host a structure with 3,565 square feet of retail space on the first floor, and a total of eight apartments spread across 6,743 square feet on the second and third floors.
During the ZBA meeting Michael McCarthy, an attorney representing the applicant, explained that the initial proposal called for 12 total apartments, but it has since been reduced.
He called the existing 2.5-story residence that currently sits on the property a “vestige of a time gone by era.” Plans includes demolition of the existing building.
The property is situated on a through lot that extends from New York Avenue to Stewart Avenue. It’s across from the recently opened Ice House Apartments on Stewart Avenue.
Also during the meeting, ZBA Chairman Christopher Modelewski questioned the effects of approving parking relief to developers building in downtown Huntington.
“We don’t really know the full net effect of a number of the projects that we’ve granted in the area… upon the functionality of these municipal lots,” he said. “We have to be very, very convinced that there will be available parking in the municipal lot if you’re not providing all of the required parking on site.”
Kevin Potente, director of the Dipamkara Meditation Center, which is located next to the site, claimed that the municipal lots are already full.
“It will impact us, and it will impact our congregation,” he said. “It’s not that we don’t want building going on. It’s great. But, what are we doing to alleviate the parking problem?”
Modelewski said that ZBA has commissioned its own independent traffic study, paid for by the applicant, to give an “unvarnished” view of the traffic situation. The independent study corroborated the applicant’s own study, which found that, even during peak times, the municipal lots were seldom full to capacity.
Using the study, McCarthy insisted that the mixed-use building was the best application of the site, as opposed to larger retail or office use.
“This particular project is just not that significant in the amount of demand,” he added.