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Bayville zoning change angers residents

A sign guides visitors to their destination as

A sign guides visitors to their destination as they enter Bayville. (Jan. 29, 2012) Credit: JC Cherubini

The Bayville Village Board of Trustees narrowly passed a controversial zoning resolution allowing the fire department to level a vacant home for additional parking spaces.

The 4-3 vote Monday came after a heated public hearing in front of about 50 residents, many of whom voiced concerns on the project's effect on the surrounding residential area. The decision, they argued, also could set a dangerous precedent for future zoning changes.

The resolution changed 25 Quincy Ave., a vacant home adjacent to and owned by the fire department, from a residential zone to commercial, allowing Bayville Fire Company to bulldoze the property in favor of an expanded parking lot.

"As the community grows, they might need more equipment," said Mayor Doug Watson, the deciding vote in favor of the resolution.

The zoning change included nine restrictions on the property, including that the lot "be utilized and maintained solely as a parking lot." These guidelines, village attorney Dominic Bianco said, "cannot be undone" unless the fire department returns before the board.Fire company officials at a May 14 meeting said the plan adds 12 additional parking spaces to the property.Its border will be lined with a fence and greenery, according to restrictions in Monday's resolution.

Officials for the company -- made up of about 85 volunteers -- couldn't be reached yesterdayTuesday.

Residents' concerns centered on the possible detriment to nearby home values, added traffic and a rise in light pollution.

"I don't want more cement," Quincy Avenue resident Nancy Sirianni told the village board. "There's nothing to stop this from happening again and again and again."

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