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Improvements on Tap for 3rd Council District

farmingville 4Communities in Farmingville, Selden, and along the Portion Road and Route 25 corridors in Brookhaven Town’s 3rd Council District can expect to see some major renovations, improvements and capital projects underway within the next several months.

According to 3rd District Councilman Kevin LaValle, the projects are basically a blueprint and a map towards more uniform planning of business districts as well as construction of a residential community on land that has long been sitting vacant.

Residents are expected to attend a public hearing scheduled for April 10 at Brookhaven Town Hall at 5 p.m. At stake are a series of proposed various mixed zone changes along Nichols, Horseblock and Portion Roads near County Road 83. “We’re finishing up a Land Use Plan which is what the public hearing will be on where we’ll be rezoning 53 properties along Portion Road and Horseblock Road,” LaValle said. “What this will do is create a road map to the future where coordinated zonings will help create a walkable downtown community with transition areas with a mix of retail and office space,” LaValle explained, noting that he has been working closely with residents and business community leaders over the last two years. “The real goal with the Land Use Plan,” LaValle pointed out, “is to give a vision of where things are located and take the random land uses that are currently in place and organize them more effectively.” The councilman confirmed there will be no eminent domain procedures involved with this project.

Farmingville Residents’ Association Executive Director Marisa Pizza said the rezoning are a long time coming. Pizza, who is also a director with the Farmingville Hills Chamber of Commerce explained: “There are many facets to this project and what we’re trying to do is create a business district that is a more walkable downtown. There is no uniformity in the zonings as they are now.” Pizza said some businesses are set closer to the road while others are set further back. “Under the new plan, businesses would be closer to the front of the street with rear parking to accommodate a walkable downtown community,” she explained. While existing businesses would stay where they are located, Pizza said new businesses coming into the community would be required to follow the zoning for their businesses to be set closer to the road.

While an array of projects are on tap, somes are already underway in Triangle Park where Pizza said planters have been removed to allow more room for tables and benches for residents to relax and enjoy themselves. Because of Triangle Park’s close proximity to the street, Pizza noted: “We’re looking to install wrought iron fencing around the perimeter of the park as a barrier and so people will be safe.” Meanwhile, Pizza confirms that local organizations have been working closely with Councilman LaValle as well as Suffolk County where a $100,000 grant has been secured to aid in revitalizing Triangle Park.

A short distance away, LaValle explained, is a proposal to build a mix of houses, condominiums, town houses combined with a small portion of retail. “The Arboretum Project is a mixed-use development that going to be behind the post office in Farmingville that will be developed along Portion Road,” LaValle said. The mixed use zoning will include a combination of townhouses and condominiums with single family houses along the perimeter of the project. Pizza said the developer has been listening to the concerns, most of which center around traffic ingress and egress with the builder. Pizza said planners wanted to get residents’ feedback on traffic concerns on Hanraham Avenue. According to Pizza, the main entrance into the Arboretum Project will be on Horseblock Road with a traffic light. The side ingress and egress will be off Hanraham on Henry Street.

Developer Mike Kelly noted that the project will occupy property that has been a long-vacant farm. “This is a good fit for Farmingville because it’s a major investment into the community which will create all sorts of economic development as people moving into the area will spur economic activity,” Kelly said. According to Kelly, the project is currently in the engineering and product development stages and proposes a mix of residences expected to break ground in Spring of 2018.

Pizza said an attractive component to the 292-unit proposal is the inclusion of work force housing units which will comprise 25% of the project. “This will allow for our aging and younger populations who want to live in the community and own will have an opportunity to purchase,” Pizza said, “because for an average family where one family might not otherwise be able to buy a home, this is a chance to purchase a home and stay on Long Island rather than be forced to move away,” she said.

According to Kelly, there will be a mix of market rate units and work force housing which will be tied to area income-eligible individuals and will work with the Long Island Housing Partnership to help qualify prospective buyers. The difference in the homes, Kelly said, will involve price points on interior finishings. All exteriors will be uniform. Kelly explained the structural distinctions between condos and town houses where condos are attached side-by-side with upper and lower level units, and town houses are attached with no residences overhead. “We work closely with the Farmingville Residents’ Association and chamber to come up with a plan that is consistent with their visioning and their Land Use Plan for Horseblock Road,” Kelly said, noting after engineering and product design stage will be site plan approvals from the Brookhaven Town Planning Board. “We’ve built several redevelopment projects in various communities and it’s exciting to be able to invest in a community like Farmingville and show what the positive economic impacts will be,” Kelly explained.

Pizza noted the Arboretum Project calls for 12,000 square feet in front that will accommodate an 80 seat restaurant and light retail above the restaurant. The project is also slated to include a lake and community center.

Addressing the projects on tap for the local community, Pizza said, “For a long time Farmingville has been a great community with a lot of personality but it was not walkable. We want to make it a destination and an opportunity for businesses to prosper and for residents to make it a true community they can come home to and enjoy fully enjoy – not just ride through.”

 

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