Town denies Middle Island rezoning request

Brookhaven Councilwoman Connie Kepert represents the area in Brookhaven Councilwoman Connie Kepert represents the area in which KRS Birchwood Park Homes Inc. of New Hyde Park wanted to increase the number of residential units for the proposed Highland Green development. The town board voted down the developer's request. (June 28, 2011) Photo Credit: David Pokress

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The Brookhaven Town Board has unanimously denied a developer's request to increase density in a Middle Island community.

"Obviously, I have heard from the majority of the Birchwood community," Councilwoman Connie Kepert, who represents the area, said of the 6-0 vote, which was held Tuesday.

"We had a meeting just the other day with a number of residents. They had been gathering petitions, saying that they didn't want the change of zone."

Applicant KRS Birchwood Park Homes Inc. of New Hyde Park wanted to increase the number of residential units for the proposed Highland Green development from 36 homes to 52.

The residential units were to sit on 23.5 acres of land KRS Birchwood owns just north of Middle Country Road and Birchwood Park Drive.

Lawyers for Birchwood were not immediately available. It was not clear what will become of the project or the property.

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Since last month, Kepert had been lukewarm on the issue, but said after Tuesday's meeting that she had urged KRS Birchwood to withdraw its application.

"This is one piece of vacant land, and we would like it to stay that way," Martin Filler, 73, of Middle Island had said during the May 7 town board meeting attended by nearly 300 residents.

The rezoning resolution was a late add to Tuesday's agenda, and appeared to catch the handful of remaining attendees off guard.

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In recent months, several residents raised concerns about the proposed development's potential impact on air quality, traffic, and the deer and wild turkey that roam the area. More than 700 families live close to the proposed project.

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