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Long IslandSuffolk

Copiague homeowners unite to form alliance to address traffic concerns near Tanner Park

Copiague residents Andrew Meyerowitz and Dianne Hawxhurst have

Copiague residents Andrew Meyerowitz and Dianne Hawxhurst have banded together with neighbors to form the Baylawn Avenue Homeowners Alliance to address concerns about traffic and safety along the street in Copiague. Credit: Johnny Milano

Copiague residents have come together to form a homeowners alliance to address quality-of-life and traffic concerns regarding the entrance to Babylon Town-owned Tanner Park.

The Baylawn Avenue Homeowners Alliance, whose members own about 75 homes on Baylawn and Jervis avenues, was created in September after several residents met at previous town planning board and zoning board meetings to address concerns near their homes, said Andrew Meyerowitz, one of the alliance founders.

"We felt that we would be heard together rather than individually," said Meyerowitz, a resident of 10 years.

Some of their concerns, Meyerowitz said, have revolved around safety and the flow of traffic along Baylawn Avenue, which has few sidewalks and leads into Tanner Park. The alliance has had two meetings and has seen some results. After the Suffolk County Police Department heard from the group, traffic enforcement increased along Baylawn Avenue, Meyerowitz said.

Dianne Hawxhurst, a Baylawn Avenue resident for more than 30 years and another alliance founder, said the idea to form an organization made sense.

"We want to come together as a community and improve the quality of life within our community," Hawxhurst said. "It was nice to see people united to talk about the same issues."

Another concern the alliance wants to address stems from a proposal by a developer who purchased a home at 30 Baylawn Ave. to add more parking for the Gail Grace Estates of Copiague apartment complex, located on the corner of Baylawn Avenue and Montauk Highway. The applicant, Mitchell Giannini, wants to amend the application to convert the 16 one-bedroom units to eight one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom units. Plans call for razing the 30 Baylawn Ave. home and turning the property into a parking lot. There is already one on Montauk Highway. The proposals have yet to receive approval from the planning board.

Meyerowitz said the alliance does not want a parking lot on Baylawn Avenue.

Kevin Bonner, a Babylon Town spokesman, said the planning board will require the applicant propose the parking lot on Baylawn Avenue be for ingress. The applicant’s lawyer, Nicole Blanda of Melville, did not respond to a request for comment.

Mary Sotomayor, who has a home behind the apartment complex, said she would never want her two daughters playing in the front yard.

"When the plans were being drawn up, to me, my opinion is that the thought process of what this would mean to the community was not planned out well and they overbuilt on the parcel," said Sotomayor, a resident since 2006. "I feel like we live in an apartment even though we own our home. We’ve had to change who we are and our day-to-day to accommodate this building."

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For more information on the alliance contact bahacopiague@gmail.com

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