By Sara-Megan Walsh
Town of Huntington officials announced Thursday afternoon that Villadom Corp. has officially withdrawn its application for the proposed Elwood Orchard.
Huntington town officials received a May 17 letter from, Syndicated Ventures, LLC, the applicant for the proposed Villadom development project, indicating that it was withdrawing its request for a change of zoning application from R-40 to C-5 and C-6 in order to construct a more than 480,000 square-foot commercial development on Jericho Turnpike, according to town spokeswoman Lauren Lembo.
Lembo said as the developer has completely withdrawn the application the May 17 hearing is officially cancelled.
The announcement came a few hours after Huntington Councilman Ed Smythe (R) put out a statement challenging the legality of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci’s (R) decision to adjourn the May 17 hearing on Villadom Corp’s proposed mixed-use commercial development Elwood Orchard to be constructed on Jericho Turnpike. Smythe said the hearing’s adjournment would require a vote by the town board.
“The Villadom public hearing is going forward today as scheduled unless the applicant withdraws it, gets a court-ordered stay, or finds three council members to vote to adjourn it,” he said in a statement.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. May 16, Lembo sent out an urgent notice that the May 17 hearing was being adjourned after the applicant for the proposed Villadom development project, sent correspondence to the town at 1:10 p.m. indicating an interest in amending their application.
“In light of the new information received by the Town, the May 17 public hearings on the Villadom project must be adjourned,” Lupinacci said. “The hearings may only be rescheduled to a later date at the discretion of the Town Board.”
Lembo said the that the town attorney was consulted regarding the legality of dismissing the public hearing before the announcement was made.
Mark Smith, a spokesman for Villadom said that based on many discussions with civic representatives as well as modifications that were suggested by the town’s planning board, the developer sat down with interested community members and decided the best course of action at this time was amend the application.
“It is our hope that through continued communication and community outreach we will come together to put forward a proposal for Elwood Orchard that will greatly benefit the community and the local economy,” Smith said.
Smith would not immediately share details on who or what groups Villadom Corp. met with that have led to this change.
Members of the Stop the Villadom Facebook group were discussing plans to continue their planned rally against the Elwood Orchard project at Elwood Middle School, even after the announcement was made the hearing would be adjourned.