An attorney for Amendola Fence Co., which has long operated on residential property in Amityville, said the business will submit applications to bring it up to code, but neighbors remain skeptical.
The company on Sunrise Highway is zoned for business but it purchased several neighboring residential properties, storing materials without town approvals on parcels that once held single-family houses. Now, the company has agreed to Town of Babylon recommendations to bring the property into compliance or risk fines. But neighbors say the company’s operations have and will continue to erode their quality of life in the neighborhood straddling Amityville and Copiague.
“It’s just not fair to the community,” resident Margie Bloome said. “It should be houses there, it should not be a commercial business.”
She filed a lawsuit in January against the company, seeking $100 million, saying nothing has changed since the town fined Amendola two years ago for various code violations.
Amendola's Farmingdale-based lawyer Victor Emanuelo asked the judge to dismiss the suit and order Bloome to pay attorney’s fees. The matter remains in court.
Angela Palmer, whose house on Bayview Avenue is adjacent to the property, said she doesn't open her windows because of dust that kicks up from trucks and noise. "I can’t enjoy the summertime," she said.
Emanuelo confirmed Amendola plans to submit applications by the end of November to implement the recommended changes, including paving the property to prevent dust from spreading, replacing bright floodlights with dark-skies compliant lights and restricting storage height to 8 feet and to certain locations.
Noise would be restricted by existing town code that limits hours, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said.
A multilayered buffer between the fence company and neighboring houses would have 15 feet of crepe myrtle trees, a 6-foot white PVC fence and 8 to 10 feet of Leyland cypress trees, Bonner said.
“Once the application is filed, we intend to invite the community to a meeting where we will [present] in an informal way what the plans are for the site,” Emanuelo said.
Town Planner Matt Esposito has met with Amendola regularly since the 2017 code violations, Bonner said, and recommended the company make site improvements.
“The town’s sole focus is gaining compliance from the property owner as quickly as possible,” Bonner said.
Neighbor Raj Maharaj is skeptical of the plans and would prefer the town go after the company with more fines.
“All of that is just what I call a bunch of hocus pocus,” he said of the proposed changes.