By Jano Tantongco
As the Huntington Town Board closed its meeting on Nov. 10, the clock ran out on the deadline for determination on a proposed zone change necessary to make way for an urgent care facility planned to be built at the former site of the historic Platt’s Tavern.
“Now, the project is dead, and I’m probably going to lose the tenant. I tried to appease everybody,” said developer Dominick Mavellia. “The members of this board chose not to vote on it, and I just don’t know why.”
The proposed tenant was Northwell Health. A spokesman, Terence Lynam, previously stated that the healthcare company had an interest in the site, provided that Mavellia received approval from the town.
The project called for an 8,000-square-foot urgent care facility to be constructed at the site, which is part of the Old Huntington Green Historic District.
The town board had 90 days from date of a public hearing, which was held on Aug. 16.
Previously, Mavellia came to the board with a plan that was larger in scale, but the board did not vote on the zone change before the December 2015 deadline for a decision came about.
After the Nov. 10 meeting, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said the proposal “just didn’t have the votes to be put up to pass.” The zone change would have required supermajority approval.
The project has been challenged by neighbors of the property, and local historians, who have said Mavellia’s plan did not suit the historic district.
“Obviously, there was enough concern not to go forward with it. And, we encouraged… the developer to rethink this, sit down with people,” Petrone said.
Mavellia said Tuesday he will no longer pursue the urgent care facility project and is now unsure how he will move forward.
“So, the building will sit there, and I don’t know what I’m going to with it at this point,” Mavellia said. “It’s a sad day for the residents of the Town of Huntington.”
Old Huntington Green President Paul Warburgh was surprised by the lack of a vote on the proposal. He has maintained that he approved of the design, but felt the proposed 8,000-square-foot building was too large. Warburgh said he would have prefered a 6,000-square-foot building.
“Officially, I like the design. In my opinion, it was too big because it was not in scale with the other historic buildings in the district,” Warburgh said. “Old Huntington Green really wants... something tasteful there. I don’t want to see that gas station… with that fence around it.”