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Concerns Over OTB, Housing Plans 

A civic group is urging the Town of Huntington to keep an eye on a large residential-commercial development in nearby Plainview and possible OTB casino gambling facilities on the Route 110 corridor, which they say could result in big impacts in neighboring Melville.

Alissa Taff, president of the Civic Association of Sweet Hollow, raised the warning at a Jan. 7 Huntington Town Board meeting.

Taff said that extensive plans for The Beechwood Organization in Plainview, which will be the subject of a Feb. 4 Town of Oyster Bay public hearing, could result in traffic and quality of life impacts that would spill over the town line.

The proposal, according to Beechwood, calls for 800 market rate homes – more than two-thirds restricted to residents 55 and over – as well as 90 affordable senior homes and nearly 115,000 square feet of retail development space with a ShopRite supermarket as an anchor tenant on 143 acres near Round Swamp and Old Country Roads. More than 43 acres of open space is included in the proposal.

But Taff said that the proposal, paired with a possible second phase of Canon’s North American headquarters and the possibility of other development in and near Melville, could bring even more traffic to an already clogged corridor.

“It’s all in the same vicinity of Canon, where we’re already choking with traffic,” Taff said.

Town spokesman A.J. Carter said Friday that Huntington Planning Director Anthony Aloisio is on the case.

“[He] has been asked to look at this and weigh in and investigate that, to see what impact, if any” the project will have, Carter said.

Taff urged the town to also take into consideration the possibility of OTB-run casinos, each with 1,000 video lottery terminals (VLT) in and near Melville, as they investigate the Beechwood proposal.

“You can’t look at it as ‘you’re a different town’. They’re a block away. You have to look at the whole impact,” she said.

Suffolk County OTB President Phil Nolan said Friday that the agency is down to “a short list of three to five” possible sites, and expects to have made a decision “inside of a month and a half.”

“There are several sites in the 110 corridor area that we’ve been looking at,” Nolan said.

Nolan said that the OTB would weigh the amount of space, cost per acre, road access and flexibility for expansion in making their consideration. They’re also looking to make sure they choose a site that residents are comfortable with.

“We’re looking for a site that takes those concerns into consideration,” Nolan said. “It’s a complex, multi-matrixed equation. There are a lot of variables floating around.”

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