7/15/2016 - Board Takes First Steps to Create A Blueway Trail
The Huntington Town Board, at its July meeting, took the first steps toward creating a Huntington Blueway Trail, which will highlight cultural and historic points of interest along the Town’s shoreline.
The Board authorized applying for a $76,000 New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant to undertake the project with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. The project, which would begin next year and be completed in 2020, will plan a Blueway through Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island Sound and the Huntington/Northport Bay complex. The grant will be used to create a Blueway Trail Map, Blueway Trail Guide smartphone app and video tour.
The trail guide would include a map of the trail, as well as natural and cultural heritage points of interest. Trail heads, amenities, and downtown assets such as paddle sport establishments will be identified. It would allow visitors easier access to trail information, better options in trip planning and increased safety through use of georeferenced maps while on the trail. It could be used by persons both on land or while on watercraft, and would be similar to the trails guide the Town has compiled for land-based activities.
The project would be geared toward increasing awareness and use of coastal resources and encouraging ecotourism. It would follow similar plans that have been implemented in North Hempstead and Oyster Bay to help expand the information base for the north shore of Long Island through Huntington’s coastal area.
In other action, the Town Board:
-- appropriated $75,000 from the Environmental Open Space and Park Improvement Fund and Neighborhood Parks Fund for construction of a stormwater runoff control rain garden at Centerport Beach. The Town has received a grant of $137,320.45 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help fund the project, which will capture and contain stormwater from about 10 acres of upland property. Currently, all that stormwater leads into a pipe and is directly discharged into Northport Bay.
-- authorized executing an agreement with the New York Power Authority to conduct targeted energy audits at four Town facilities that are included in the Town’s Huntington Community Microgrid proposal: Town Hall, the Village Green Activity Center, the Huntington Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Heckscher Museum. The cost to the Town is expected to be $49,763. The two privately-owned parcels in the proposed Microgrid, the Huntington YMCA and Huntington Hospital, have also asked the Town to retain NYPA to do energy audits and will reimburse the Town for their costs. The resolution is one of three related to the Town’s entry in the New York State Energy Research and Development authority’s NY Price Stage 2 Community Grid competition (successful Stage 2 proposers will receive grant awards for up to $1 million for design of a microgrid). The other two resolutions retain NYPA to help prepare the Town’s entry (at a cost of $38,125) and a master agreement to work with NYPA on the project.
-- enacted three amendments to the Town zoning code with respect to affordable housing. The first amendment clarifies that Town affordable housing is intended for first-time homebuyers, unless otherwise approved by the Town Board. The second ties the resale of affordable units to the Consumer Price Index. The third allows for both full- and part-time workers to qualify for preferences given to those who work in the Town.
-- authorized execution of a requirements contract with Winters Brothers Recycling of Long Island Inc. for the processing, disposal and marketing of source separated recyclables from the Town of Huntington Recycling Center and mixed paper/corrugated from the Municipal Business District, beginning in October. For 2017, the cost is estimated as $19,000, with estimated revenues of $21,000.
-- approved the sale of approximately 7,000 square feet of property that adjoins the Elks Club parking lot to the developer of a mixed-use building at 30 Stewart Avenue for use as a parking lot. The property had been used by the prior owner without the Town’s knowledge, which was discovered by the Town Planning Department when it was reviewing the current site plan application. The property has been appraised at $208,750.
-- accepted the gift of the September 11 Memorial Peace Pole from the World Peace Organization’s Peace Pole Project, for display at the James D. Conte Community Center Complex (the former Huntington Armory).
-- approved the application of Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Foundation to change the zoning on a parcel on the north side of Hauppauge Road and the west side of Commack Road to allow for construction of a continuing care retirement community it is calling Fountaingate Gardens.
-- scheduled an August 16 public hearing to consider awarding a license agreement to Cozzi Sports Inc. to run the pro shop at the Dix Hill Ice Rink.
-- scheduled an August 16 public hearing on a proposal affecting non-mechanical attractions at carnivals. The proposal removes the existing requirement of one ride per quarter acre for non-mechanical attractions such as slides, fun houses and bounce houses. Additionally, under the proposal, non-mechanical attractions would not be counted in the overall number of rides that can exist at an event.
-- scheduled an August 16 public hearing on amendments to the Town’s blighted property code, including strengthening the Town’s demolition procedure regarding unsafe and damaged buildings and structures. The amendments specify conditions under which a building may be declared unsafe.
-- scheduled an August 16 public hearing on a proposal to manage the proliferation of hookah lounges and vape lounges within the Town, prohibiting them within 1,500 feet of a park, playground, religious institution or school or where there are residences in a mixed use building.
-- scheduled an August 16 public hearing to consider an application to rezone a parcel at the intersection of Main Street and Park Avenue in Huntington, allowing for construction of an 8,000 square foot commercial building intended for medical office use on the site of what is now a delicatessen and a shuttered gas station. The property was once the location of Platt’s Tavern, a settlement-era building in the original center of Huntington where George Washington once dined.