By Jano Tantongco
A 77,000-square-foot senior living facility planned for Huntington Station cleared a major hurdle Tuesday.
The Huntington Town Board unanimously approved a zone change for the 300 West Hills Road site of Sunrise Senior Living’s planned facility.
Sponsor of the resolution, Supervisor Frank Petrone, said that such facilities are typically “not easy to site,” but the “overwhelming” support of the community helped guide the board’s decision to change the zone from R-7 Residence District to R-HS Residential Health Services District.
“They had a developer that reached out to the community. The alternative was housing, according to code, without making any changes,” Petrone said. “The people that lived around there were not thrilled with that.”
Plans call for a two-story, 90-unit structure on the property, which is the former site of The Long Island Equine Medical Center.
Last month’s public hearing on the proposal yielded a mixed response, with 13 supporters — including several residents with property directly abutting the site.
“They were pleased, and the whole community came out,” Petrone said.
There were, however, two who spoke against the project, including Diane Tanko, who said she represented 118 others who signed a petition against it.
Philip Kroskin, senior vice president of real estate for the developer, has previously said that there are no dissenters among the 19 households on West Hills Road, Peach Tree Lane and Florence Court that border the site.
In regards to community concerns over potential congestion and appearance, Sunrise officials previously agreed to proposed covenants and restrictions regarding employee shift hours to accommodate school hours, as well as long-term maintenance of buffers and berms.
Sunrise Senior Living currently operates similar centers in Dix Hills, Plainview, Smithtown and West Babylon.