Oheka Condo Plan Under Review
Site plans for The Residences at Oheka Castle, a condominium community to be built adjacent to the historic Huntington estate, are currently under review by the town’s Planning Department.
The development is in part a vehicle for preventing the development of Cold Spring Hills Country Club on the surrounding 158 acres. Site plans before the board call for two four-story buildings connected internally by a bridge, with a total of 192 units, to be constructed on an 18.3-acre subdivision between Oheka Castle and Cold Spring Hills Country Club.
All development rights to the country club and a small portion of the Oheka Castle property would be transferred to the 18.3-acre parcel. That, paired with a recreational use easement, would essentially lock in its current use as a golf course and forever prevent development, said Michael McCarthy, an attorney representing Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius, the developer behind the project.
McCarthy said the “undulating” property would conceal some of the buildings’ size. A 372-space parking structure is also planned as part of the development.
“It will take advantage of the topography, so in many aspects of the building, it will look like less than four stories,” McCarthy said. “By all accounts, when you look at the thing from the front, it’s going to look like a four-story building.”
McCarthy said the open-space cluster zoning district, which the 18.3-acre subdivision was changed to in March 2012, is designed for projects just like The Residences at Oheka, allowing a builder to construct a denser project in order to preserve a much larger parcel of open space.
Melius gained the support of the Cold Spring Hills Civic Association for the project with several stipulations attached. He agreed to: follow all covenants and restrictions; limit traffic flow during rush hour; not to extend East Gate Drive, the access road to Oheka Castle, to the development; utilize Nassau County Sewer District for waste and install a landscape buffer between the condominiums and existing housing.
In addition to his work with Town Hall, McCarthy is working toward approvals from other involved agencies like the state Department of Transportation, Nassau County and the Suffolk County Water Authority.
“Once we get site plan approval, it’s Mr. Melius’ intention to move forward with development,” McCarthy said.