Controversial Long Island Development Sparks Passion at Town Meeting

By Katy Tur
|  Wednesday, Sep 22, 2010  |  Updated 1:32 PM EDT
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Fate of new development rests with <a title=Huntington vote." />

Fate of new development rests with Huntington vote.

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Chanting "local jobs, local people," members of U.A. Plumbers Local Union 200 shouted down their opposition.

And before it even began, the relative energy levels of critics and supporters said it all.

You could see it on their faces and hear it in their voices, those opposed to the Avalon Bay Huntington Station Apartment Complex, the hundreds who showed up for the town board vote knew they had won.

The outcome: 2 in support and 3 opposed. The sprawling 490 unit complex, to be built in a  wooded area just behind the Huntington LIRR stop,  did not get the change in zoning laws it needed to go forward. "No" to making the area a Transit Oriented Development.

Huntington Councilwoman Glenda Jackson, who voted yes for the project, was disappointed at the loss. She said, "I believe that this is something that Huntington Station truly needs at this point in time. I believe it would have been a really good economic development piece."

Its supporters, who argued that Huntington needed more affordable housing, not to mention the jobs and tax revenue that would come along with it,  were just as telling in their reaction or lack thereof.
 
Nancy berg, supported Avalon Bay, she thinks that "this was one big chance that we had to really put 100 million dollars into the community."

Ultimately people like Matt Harris who created the facebook page "Say No to Avalon Bay" walked out of the meeting in victorious spirits. Harris argued that the Huntington Station area had "the majority of high density housing and they wanted to put in a lot more."

The key factor in the decision came down to the school board. When it decided it would not support Avalon Bay, the swing vote Councilman Mark Cuthbertson subsequently announced that he would not vote yes.
 

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