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Town of Brookhaven approves Bellport Overlay District

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The Brookhaven town board has answered a community’s call for affordable housing, unanimously approving a proposed Bellport overlay district.

The decision paves the way for more affordable housing in Bellport. It came following the town board’s Thursday public hearing on to discuss the overlay district.

More than a dozen community members spoke in favor of establishing the district. None of the speakers at the hearing voiced opposition.

Some kept comments terse, just stating solely their approval. Others applauded the overlay as a step toward constructing more affordable housing in Bellport.

“I support the overlay district because we need more affordable housing in Bellport,” said Joann Neal, the daycare coordinator of the Boys and Girls Club. “This is evidenced by the hundreds of people coming to the Boys and Girls Club, the [BHEP] Alliance, and the South Country Library to pick up applications for the Gleneagle apartments being built in Bellport.”

Developed by Peter Florey of D&F Development Group, the Gleneagle project is a new and affordable nine-building, 70-unit gated complex on Atlantic Avenue.

“The need is great, and we have a chance to be leaders in the affordable housing market in Brookhaven,” Neal added.

Four sub-districts created

The approved district follows the myriad of problems and solutions outlined in the 2014 Greater Bellport Land Use Plan.

The overlay district is divided into four sub-districts. The first is the Bellport Hamlet Center Overlay between Montauk Highway and Atlantic Avenue, south of the Boys and Girls Club. This sub-district allows for high-density residential development.

“This overlay also provides an opportunity [for] increased residential density, by providing extra sanitary capacity, 100% affordability, construction of a service or use identified as being underserved within the community… and housing for those with special needs,” said Beth Reilly, the town’s planning commissioner.

The second is the Greater Bellport Opportunity Overlay, which aims to bring greater housing variety to Bellport. Single family dwellings currently dominate the Greater Bellport area. This will allow multi family structures of 2, 3, and 4 units in a large vacancy within a residential zone.

The new overlay district also creates the Hagerman Hamlet Center Overlay. The area, which runs from Americus Avenue to McDonald Avenue, is now commercial-heavy, particularly with regards to automotive-related businesses. The overlay district will allow mixed use development, with multi-family housing units permissible on the first three floors of structures.

There is a requirement that 50% of the first floor frontage along Montauk Highway be dedicated for commercial uses.

The final sub-district will create the Bellport Esplanade and Greenway adjacent to the railroad tracks. Reilly explained this project will simultaneously remove commercial blight and “provide recreational activity for the residents of Greater Bellport.”

Top: The Boys and Girls Club of Bellport along Atlantic Avenue, a focal point of the Greater Bellport Overlay District.