Officials in the Town of Huntington have scheduled a special cluster development hearing for Nov. 20 on The Preserve at Indian Hills. The draft environmental impact statement hearing ended Nov. 5, but concerns continue.
The 55-and-over housing development is proposed to be built on the Indian Hills Golf Course in Northport and have 98 town houses, a new fitness center and an expanded clubhouse alongside the existing golf course.
The special subdivision hearing was scheduled due to the public’s high level of interest in the project. The draft environmental impact hearing was held in September, and typically that would have been the only hearing for the environmental impact report and its subdivision application. The planning board scheduled a separate public hearing in an effort to provide transparency and extend more time for the public to submit comments, according to town officials.
Other project updates include the town voting to hire an outside consultant for the environmental review process on Oct. 10. Melville-based engineering firm AECOM will be tasked in assisting the planning board in evaluating the environmental impact statement.
John Hayes, president of the Fort Salonga Property Owners Association, said they are anxious for the next stage in Preserve’s development process.
“We were glad the town extended the public comment period, the more input we can put in the better,” he said.
The association sent in 180 pages of input to the town planning board.
Critics of the development have pointed to environmental impacts and negative effects on property values, as well as concerns on watershed quality and the surrounding wetlands.
“Not much has changed [since the last hearing]. It is still overwhelmingly opposed by residents,” Hayes said. “There are pollution and environmental issues from the DEIS [Draft Environmental Impact Statement] that the developers need to understand.”
The president of the association also was concerned about the eroding bluffs near the proposed development.
Previously, the group asked town officials to place a moratorium on new developments in the Crab Meadow Watershed area, which includes Indian Hills. Others have urged the planning board to complete the Crab Meadow Watershed study before making any conclusions on the project.
“We’re hopeful that the planning board will listen to our concerns,” Hayes said.
After the preliminary subdivision hearing, there will be a final environmental impact statement hearing and then a final subdivision hearing. The planning board cannot vote on the development until the environmental statement process is complete. The application review period will extend into 2020, according to town officials.