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Town of Huntington, NY - News Details

4/13/2021 - Huntington Planning Board to Require Extensive Environmental Impact Study on Application to Subdivide Property on Historic Street

Huntington – At their April 7 meeting, the Planning Board directed the Planning Department to prepare a resolution requiring an extensive environmental impact study on an application that included the demolition of a century-old Sammis Street home. 


After a public hearing on the application to subdivide the property, Chairman Paul Ehrlich stated, “It is clear that the application would have a material adverse impact on the character of the neighborhood that needs to be addressed in a more extensive environmental impact study.” He then polled the Planning Board members, receiving a consensus, and directed the Planning Department to prepare a resolution declaring a “POSDEC,” or Positive Declaration, requiring an extensive environmental impact study to be conducted. 


Chairman Ehrlich also tabled a scheduled agenda item to discuss waivers sought by the applicant, stating that doing so would be “premature.” The applicant is seeking to create a three-lot subdivision of single-family homes on the site. 


In 2002, residents of Sammis Street petitioned the Town to have the concrete roadway and the sycamore trees along the street declared historic landmarks. The Town Board declared the roadway a historic landmark in 2003.  This designation did not apply to the houses on the street, as the residents opted out of designating the homes as historic. 


In November 2018, when the owner of 45 Sammis Street applied to subdivide that property into three lots, the Planning Department requested comments from the Historic Preservation Commission.  Initially, the Commission expressed a preference for the house to stay with the possibility of subdividing a lot for a new house in the backyard. 


In February 2019, the Commission visited the house. The only means available to the Commission to protect a house from demolition is to recommend it for landmark designation; that can only be done if the house meets the criteria set forth in the Town Code. The Commission determined that on its own the house did not meet the criteria for landmark designation however it would be protected from demolition as a contributing structure to a historic district, if such a district were established. 


A resident petition exists requesting the establishment of an historic district that includes all the houses on Sammis Street; the process may only proceed once a petition is in compliance with the Town Code. Once in compliance, the Commission would submit its recommendation to the Town Board, which would be required to vote on establishing the district in order to do so.