The Town of Babylon has issued $7,000 in summonses to an Amityville fencing company that town officials said is conducting business on residential properties in violation of the zoning code.
The summonses are welcome news to the neighbors of Amendola’s Fence Co. on Sunrise Highway, who for months have urged local officials to address the commercial activity there that they said is blighting their tranquil residential neighborhood.
“It’s bad,” said Angela Palmer, 48, whose home abuts the business.
Palmer said trucks noisily unload materials into an outdoor storage yard on the residentially zoned properties, sometimes late into the night, waking up Palmer, her husband and son, while exterior lighting shines into her home.
But worst of all is the dust, kicked up by trucks and workers loading and unloading materials in the yard, she said.
“It comes into the house,” Palmer said. “Especially in the summertime, I cannot go outside. Nobody on the block enjoys summer.”
Victor A. Emanuelo, a Farmingdale-based attorney for the company, said Amendola’s is working to resolve neighbors’ complaints.
“We have met with the town and we’re continuing to address the concerns of the surrounding community,” he said.
Most frustrating to Margie Bloome is that the hubbub is taking place on lots where homes used to be but have been torn down.
“It’s all residential property,” said Bloome, 65, who has lived down the street since 1958. “He’s not supposed to be there,” she said of Robert Amendola, whose family owns the business.
Town property records show that, since 1990, Amendola or RJ Amendola LLC have purchased nine properties on Bayview Avenue zoned residential that are adjacent to his business. At least six of them appear to serve as an outdoor storage yard, according to Google Maps images taken this year.
Bloome contacted town, county and state officials in the spring and summer to voice community concerns, and gathered about 60 neighbors’ signatures on a petition asking the town to intervene.
The complaints prompted the town to investigate and, ultimately, issue seven summonses, each carrying a $1,000 penalty, for a lack of certificates of occupancy, barbed wire on a fence and other code violations, according to town spokesman Kevin Bonner.
The property owners pleaded not guilty to the alleged violations in September and are preparing an application to the town to “legalize” their operations on the properties in question, Bonner said.
“We intend to bring the premises into compliance with the applicable zoning law,” Emanuelo said.
“We are going to hold him, like we hold any other property owner, accountable to the town code, and that’s what’s happening now,” Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said of Amendola.
In 2009, Amendola was sentenced to two years in prison for federal tax evasion after failing to report $1.6 million in personal income and for paying workers off the books, Newsday reported previously.