The Facts:Note: This information was provided by the Greater Huntington Civic Group. For more information on this and other Huntington projects, visit them at: www.greaterhuntingtoncivicgroup.com
Seasons at Elwood (proposed for site of current Oak Tree Dairy)
- The area is zoned for one residence per acre (approximately 37 single-family homes)
- The developer is proposing 444 units (12 residences per acre)
- The Town of Huntington Board must approve the re-zoning
- Without community action this project most likely will be approved
- The builder’s estimate is for 650 vehicles owned by the new residents. Additional cars on Elwood Rd are also anticipated from 156 new housing units at Elwood and Pulaski Rd (Matinecock Ct).
- The traffic study was paid for by the developer and concludes no impact on traffic conditions on already congested Elwood Road and the surrounding area from these 2 projects.
- The Town of Huntington will not fund an independent traffic study.
- Nelson, Pope, & Voorhis (the engineering firm hired by developer) states the school district will see an increase of $1,465,245 in annual revenue. But these gains may be fleeting:
- The project could add approximately 800 residents who will be eligible to vote on school budgets. Unlike senior home owners whose children attended Elwood schools and who recognized the importance of quality schools in determining home values, age restricted housing residents have less incentive in supporting the quality of education in the district and will likely vote to keep school taxes lower by voting down school budgets. Underfunded schools and contentious annual budget votes are a disincentive to moving to Elwood. That will affect the value of your home.
- The tax benefit suggested by the developer is derived from a proposed selling price of $450,000 for a 1200 square foot 2 bedroom attached residence (with no garage) at a density of 12 units per acre. Comparable senior housing on Long Island does not command selling prices in this range. It is likely that the selling price and the estimated tax revenues to the Elwood School District will be lower.
- In a similar project in Dix Hills, “empty nesters” from Dix Hills moved to the new senior housing and sold their homes to young families. The influx of young families into the homes vacated by seniors overwhelmed the Dix Hills School District and quickly cancelled out the anticipated savings. If 200 units are purchased by current Elwood residents (the developer’s own projection), the families who replace them in their current homes would add hundreds of children to the district rolls. The new tax revenue will be inadequate to fund the same quality of education. Instead of a slower increase in taxes resulting from this project, there actually may be a higher increase in taxes to support the increase of school aged children.
- The full tax benefit to the school district will not be realized until the project is completed. The construction will last 3 years or longer and will be in phases as the units are sold. Construction traffic on Elwood Road and noise in the backyard of the high school will last for years. A sudden change in the housing market, which we all now know are realistic, could stretch the project out even longer delaying any increased taxes for the school district for years upon years.
- Town Board members have indicated the School Board position will be a significant guide to their voting. At their last meeting, the Elwood School Board was on the verge of communicating their support of this project to the Town Board until residents in attendance prevailed by urging further study. The School Board agreed to delay their decision, but has not yet agreed to oppose the project.
- Although the builder currently projects 12 units per acre, if the zoning change is approved, up to 14.5 units per acre can be constructed without additional approval. That could result in 536 units constructed on the property!
- 35 foot high buildings are being marketed as two-story buildings. These structures will dwarf anything else found in the area and will comprise a density more often found in a garden apartment complex than a community of single family homes in Huntington. The building rears will be facing Elwood Road replacing open space with unsightly over-sized structures that would be completely out of character in our community of single family homes.
- Greenlawn Water District will see a huge increase in usage while losing a valuable recharge area.