Spring has sprung and the flowers are finally blooming. While this season is known for fostering new growth and new birth, there is another kind of development which has taken on a new life. A more accurate word may be reincarnation. The Mediavilla property.
Many years ago, there was a proposal for a mixed use development on the Mediavilla property which is zoned R-40 (one acre residential). This proposal eventually died due to many factors- one being the zoning laws which were not overturned by the town of Huntington and another being community opposition. Many people in our own civic association played an important role in advocating for the Heart of Huntington- Elwood. Thankfully we have been spared from carrying the burden of the extensive traffic this would have brought to our streets along with the impact it would have had on our school district.
Fast forward to today and the former proposal pales in comparison to what is now on the table. The current plans include the property which begins at the northeast corner of Jericho Turnpike and Manor Road and spreads out over 43 acres. The developer has presented the concept of a lifestyle center which includes 400,000 square feet of retail space, office space, restaurants, medical facilities and a public plaza. To illustrate the enormity of this proposal, imagine three Huntington Square Malls (the Sears shopping center) side by side, one after the other, down the stretch of Jericho Turnpike. In order to accommodate this massive structure, 2,000 parking spaces have been allocated to the plan.
Below are some facts regarding the adverse impacts we may experience if this idea becomes reality:
ENVIRONMENTAL- Local source of water and critical aquifers.
TRAFFIC- Curb cuts onto Jericho Turnpike, added lights, entrance/egress on Manor Road. The overflow of traffic from Manor Road WILL encourage drivers to use Timber Ridge Drive as a shortcut.
QUALITY OF LIFE- Pollution, more litter and traffic that was not designed for the roads that will be affected.
SAFETY- Roadways, crimes, resources (our police, fire department and emergency services are already stretched thin).
ZONING CHANGE- sets precedent for more downsizing and is not preserved to respect the agreement we had with the town when we bought our homes. The understanding was that the Mediavilla property may someday build approximately 35 homes on that location, not change our quality of life.
In the meantime, Happy Spring!