Babylon Village Municipal Hall on Main Street on Aug. 17,...

Babylon Village Municipal Hall on Main Street on Aug. 17, 2011. Credit: T.C. McCarthy

To prevent more dense development, the Village of Babylon has placed a one-year moratorium on landowners subdividing large residential lots.

The mayor and trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to enact the temporary ban, which applies to new applications for subdividing residential lots with parcels starting at 11,000 square feet, which is the village's largest zoning category.

Subdividing a lot allows a builder to construct a second house, making for denser streets.

“I think you lose the ambience of the neighborhood,” Mayor Ralph Scordino said last month.

The board held a public hearing before its vote, during which six residents from Peninsula Drive spoke in favor of the proposed law, which wouldn’t stop a proposed subdivision on their street, but would prevent it from happening in the future. None spoke against the proposal.

A.J. Sweeney lives next door to a lot whose owner is seeking several variances from the village zoning board of appeals to build a second house.

“For the beauty and the oversize lots, I’m in favor of the moratorium to protect that,” he said.

Tom Kilkenny has lived on the street for 30 years and said several large houses have been torn down in recent years and replaced with even larger ones that are closer to their neighbors.

While the moratorium wouldn’t stop that, he lamented the changes.

“We’re losing the beauty of the block,” he said.

The largest parcels are easiest and most likely to subdivide, but smaller parcels, like those zoned at a minimum of 9,000 square feet, can also be split as long as they meet the requirements to do so and are not subject to the moratorium.

Village attorney Gerard Glass said during the one-year moratorium, the board will “evaluate whether or not changes are needed to the zoning laws.”

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