The developer behind a plan to build housing on a 55-acre parcel in Elwood is moving forward with a full environmental review of the land.
The review is a detailed study of the property to explore potential impacts such as traffic, and assess the significance of the proposed project and determine whether any issues can be mitigated or eliminated.
Jericho-based The Beechwood Organization has not said how many units it might propose.
Huntington Town Board member Sal Ferro said in discussions with Beechwood that the company was advised to get a State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, declaration if it planned to move ahead with developing the property located on the corner of Manor Road and Jericho Turnpike.
“Many times when a development plan comes up people will point out the effects it will have on the environment; so rather than have that as an obstacle, do your homework and go through a full New York State review,” he said.
Steven Dubb, principal of Beechwood, wrote in an email to Newsday that the company welcomes the opportunity for the study, which will be conducted by third-party experts.
“We look forward to sharing the outcomes of this rigorous review as part of our commitment to a thoughtful approach in fulfilling demand for new housing for Long Islanders of all ages,” the email said.
At its Nov. 3 town board meeting, the board approved requiring Beechwood to conduct the study, which will be paid for by the developer. If Beechwood moves forward with a proposal, it would seek to go from single-family residence to garden apartment zoning.
Ferro said the review does not guarantee that the board will consider, approve or hold a public hearing for the project.
In May, Beechwood proposed building 385 town homes and villas for residents ages 55 and older on the parcel. In June, the developer withdrew the zoning change application to hold further discussions with the community.
Dubb said the company’s goal with the project is to increase “attainable housing options” for a wide range of families and individuals. Approximately 20% of the approved units would be designated as “affordable workforce housing” and available to eligible households of all ages at a percentage of Area Median Income.
CORRECTION: The Beechwood Organization will conduct an environmental review on land in Elwood. An earlier version of this story listed the wrong hamlet.
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