Developer submits outline of environmental study for Indian Hills development

Developer submits outline of environmental study for Indian Hills development

Indian Hills Country Club. Photo by Sara-Megan Walsh

The real estate developer for a controversial Fort Salonga development has handed over his proposed plans for a mandated environmental impact study for public consumption. 

The Hauppauge-based Northwind Group, founded by developer Jim Tsunis, submitted a 16-page report Aug. 14 outlining how potential impacts of The Preserve at Indian Hills will be evaluated prior to construction of the community. Residents have until Sept. 17 to give feedback and voice any concerns. 

Town of Huntington Planning Board voted Aug. 8 to issue a positive declaration that the submitted plans to construct 98 townhouses and a clubhouse on the existing Indian Hills Country Club golf course will have a significant environmental impact. In accordance with state law, the Northwind Group must undertake, with a detailed environmental impact study that looks at how the development may impact water quality of the
watershed, the area’s steep slopes and coastal erosion zone, added traffic and other issues. 

“The 99-lot yield is supported by a yield map prepared to town specifications and approved by the planning board for yield purposes and is less than what would be permitted as right-of-way under current zoning if each property were developed independently,” reads page 3 of the developer’s draft report. 

The Fort Salonga Property Owners Association has previously asked town officials to place a moratorium on new developments in the Crab Meadow Watershed area, which includes Indian Hills. The group has voiced fears, despite the developer’s revised plans that scales 108 units originally requested down to 98, the development will have a devastating impact on the local roadways and
surrounding wetlands.

“There is no doubt that this latest plan is completely unacceptable to the neighborhood,” John Hayes, president of the property owners association, said. “Like its predecessors, it does not fully address many of the environmental and social concerns that have been raised.” 

Hayes admitted he and others were still going over the 16-page report but said he is likely to suggest additional intersections be added to the traffic study. Those intersections already cited for inclusion by the developer include: Route 25A at Makamah Road, Route 25A at Fresh Pond Road, Makamah and Breeze Hill roads, Fresh Pond Road and Breeze Hill Road and Fresh Pond Road at Claymore Road.

“The roads are not designed for this sort of development,” Hayes said, citing numerous fatal accidents at Makamah Road and Route 25A. 

The draft environmental study outline also clearly stated the 18-hole golf course will be modified, but maintain 18-holes calling it “an important part of the visual character of the site and area.” 

The draft scope of the environmental study can be viewed on the Town of Huntington’s website, www.huntingtonny.gov, under the Planning & Environment Department page, under Site Specific Plans, Reports and Studies. 

Comments may be submitted through Sept. 17 via email to planning@huntingtonny.gov or mailed to Huntington Town Hall, Department of Planning & Environment (Room 212), Attn: Preserve at Indian Hills Draft Scope, 100 Main St., Huntington, NY 11743.