A new iteration of a proposal to build a senior assisted living facility near a wooded Huntington neighborhood will be the subject of a town board public hearing next month.
The board scheduled the hearing on Tuesday to consider changing the zone on the six-acre property to allow the Massachusetts-based Benchmark Senior Living to proceed with the project, which would be located on the corner of East Main Street and Washington Drive. Benchmark is looking to rezone the property from C-3 Special Business and R-10 Residential to R-HS Residential Health Services District to make way for the facility.
The project has gone through several versions. The proposed number of units has been brought down from 87 to 69 units. Also, the building will be two stories instead of three, and the proposed on-site sewage treatment plant has been moved to the northwest corner of the lot, adjacent to commercial property.
A 40-foot wide natural buffer along Old Northport Road will be built, and the gross floor area would be slightly reduced from 70,567 square feet to 66,995.
Some residents who live near the property have opposed the plan, citing size, traffic and noise concerns. A group of residents, who call themselves United Homeowners of Huntington, has formed to oppose the plan.
Jane Carter, a resident who belongs to the group, asked the town board at the meeting on Tuesday to keep the zoning on the property in tact. She said the project “hasn’t changed enough.”
William Bonesso, a Uniondale attorney representing Benchmark for the project, also attended the Tuesday meeting. In an interview last year, he spoke of a need for the project.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, we’re living on an island that’s aging,” he said.
Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) sponsored the resolution to schedule a public hearing. He said in an interview with reporters after the meeting that the public hearing was a chance to evaluate whether the public’s concerns about the project are addressed
“It’s been kicking around,” he said. “They came up with what they believed was a different plan so let’s put it before public hearing, decide whether it should go forward.”