A developer who was sent back to the drawing board last year after he sought town approval to build a 40-unit apartment complex on a wooded property in Copiague is now looking for the green light to build 30 owner-occupied condominiums at the same location.
In 2018, Amityville-based MR Property Builders asked the Town of Babylon to change the zoning of a 1.75-acre parcel on 45th Street from residence to multiple-residence to build five two-story buildings to hold 40 one-bedroom apartments. Residents opposed the project, citing concerns about increased traffic in the neighborhood and other quality-of-life issues.
The town board was poised to vote on the project in July 2018 when it withdrew three resolutions. At the time, Supervisor Rich Schaffer said he had “concerns about whether or not the developer presented accurate information to the board,” declining to give further details.
The developer should “go back to the drawing board to meet with the local residents to see if any compromises can come back,” Schaffer said then.
Schaffer declined Monday to comment on the new proposal until the town board reviews the application. The application must continue through the town's planning process before getting to the town board.
In 2018, the planning board recommended approving the zone change request before the town board withdrew the resolutions.
The property slated for development is situated between Nu Horizons Manor, a multiunit rental complex, and single-family houses on 45th Street.
The planning board held a public hearing for the condo proposal Monday evening. Attorney Joseph Buzzell, of Melville-based Buzzell, Blanda & Visconti LLP, represented MR Property Builders in their application to build Clay Commons, seven two-story buildings housing the 30 two-bedroom condos with 77 parking spots.
“It will be an upgrade for the site, which will improve the neighborhood,” Buzzell said.
Some residents spoke in favor of the new project, while others remained opposed, including Rosemarie Dearing, who objected to the rental development in 2018. She said she wants to see single-family houses built on the parcel.
“45th Street is a very crowded street as it is,” she said. “It would be too much traffic for that.”
Planning board member Julianne Nolan said she thought the change in the project would be beneficial for the neighborhood.
“I think it’s a good compromise, also that it’s switched to ownership rather than rentals,” she said.