Public hearing held over proposal to bring a walkable downtown to Melville

The town says the concept of the town center will include storefronts with residential units above the stores.

Cecilia Dowd and Jon Dowding

Apr 30, 2024, 9:56 PM

Updated 16 days ago


The proposals to reshape Melville remain a divided issue on Tuesday night after the first of three public meetings.
Hundreds packed the West Hollow Middle School auditorium to learn about the two proposals to create a downtown area in Melville.
Anthony Dolisi, of Melville, says he felt the Huntington Town officials needed to present more thorough plans.
“There’s no infrastructure set out. They don’t even know what the sewers would look like. Where it would go? How long it would take? How much it would be? What the tax incentives would be. Is it going to save? Isn’t it going to save? They had no plans,” he said. “They wasted an hour of my time.”
Thomas Guggino, of Huntington, says he and other residents could benefit from future developments.
“I’m a big supporter of what they’ve proposed,” he said. “I need to get something into retirement if I want to stay on Long Island. I don’t need a big giant house but I definitely don’t need a two million dollar, two bedroom apartment. So, there has to be some middle ground.”
The proposal includes two parts. One is to accept the plan for the creation of the Melville Town Centre Overlay Zone. The second allows for mixed use development of residential and commercial space.
“To create a walkable downtown in Melville south of the Long Island Expressway where there are currently office buildings and industrial properties that are vacant or growing vacant,” said Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth.
The zone would run along Maxess Road, Melville Park Road, Baylis Road and Corporate Center Drive.
Residents for and against the plan seem to agree on one major next step.
“And what needs to be done? A more concrete plan,” said Guggino.
Over 75 people signed up to speak Tuesday night. The next meeting is at 2 p.m. on May 7 at Huntington Town Hall.

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