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Babylon adjusts proposed code changes along Lindenhurst canal

Private and commercial boats, along with fences, sheds

Private and commercial boats, along with fences, sheds and other items are stored on the canal in the American Venice neighborhood in Lindenhurst. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Babylon Town officials have revised a proposed code for properties along a canal in Lindenhurst after a previous version of the proposal drew complaints from residents.

A public hearing on the code is scheduled for Wednesday night.

The changes along Grand Canal in the American Venice neighborhood include amending fence rules to allow for solid fencing between parcels for privacy, increasing allowable pergola size up to 140 square feet and permitting floating docks that are parallel along a bulkhead.

The town in January held a public hearing on establishing regulations for the 162 lots. The strips of land measure about 20 feet by 40 feet and are referred to as "deeded dock slips." The parcels were originally owned by residents living across the street on East and West Riviera drives, but over the years some have been separately sold to those living outside the area.

Many residents at the hearing criticized parts of the proposed code, so the town made some changes based on the comments, said Rich Groh, Babylon’s chief environmental analyst.

"We’re not going to please everybody, but I think we’ve come up with a fair solution," Groh said.

The code removes a requirement of 35 feet of waterfront frontage for each docked vessel and also addresses registered derelict boats, deeming a vessel to be derelict if it is left on a parcel for more than three years. Residents had complained that it’s cheaper for people to register their boat every three years than to dispose of it. Boat registration costs from $26 to $93, while the town charges $100 per ton to dispose of a boat, officials said.

To help people come into compliance, the town will waive building application and permit fees — which can total $300 to $600 — and disposal fees for six months.

American Venice Civic Association chairman John Vogt said his organization approves of most of the changes but is frustrated the town kept in the allowance of sheds, something they have vociferously opposed, saying many are in disrepair and are illegal under current code.

Vogt also criticized the new derelict boat rule as unrealistic, as it would rely on town inspectors or resident affidavits.

"We’ve been calling up and complaining all these years and they’ve done nothing," he said. "So we’ll start complaining about that and they will do the same thing they’ve always done, which is nothing."

The public hearing is at 6 p.m. via Zoom. Sign up to speak or submit comments at https://www.townofbabylon.com/459/Upcoming-Public-Meetings

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