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Babylon IDA deal gives apartment developer six-year reprieve, $3.5M break on taxes 

Robert Curcio will pay $4.9M in property taxes over 30 years, but he must still get a zone change approval on the project near the Marion G. Vedder Elementary School.

A controversial proposal to build 40 apartments next door to a North Babylon elementary school has gotten the green light for a $3.5 million tax break.

 The Babylon Industrial Development Agency on Tuesday granted developer Robert Curcio Jr.’s application to pay $4.9 million in property taxes over 30 years, saving him $3.5 million and paying only the current property tax rate for the first six years, around $50,000.

Curcio initially sought a $2.2 million break over 20 years.

The proposed one-bedroom units, called Parkway Village Estates, would sit on the approximately 2-acre parcel at 766-768 Deer Park Ave., adjacent to Marion G. Vedder Elementary School.

The project needs a change of zone from business to multiple residence before work can proceed. Residents aired concerns during the Babylon Planning Board’s March 4 public hearing, which prompted Curcio to adjust the plans.

Curcio widened buffers along the property lines, relocated buildings from the back of the property near houses, shrunk the size of the recreational facility, replaced the finished basements with storage-only spaces and increased the parking spots from 80 to 91.

“We think that we made a lot of progress . . . with sincere modifications,” Curcio’s attorney, Stephen Kretz, said during the second planning board public hearing on Monday. “A great deal of effort and some sacrifices have been made by Mr. Curcio.”

The project still received some negative feedback, mostly about additional traffic it could bring to Deer Park Avenue and neighboring streets.

“It’s a nightmare, and it’s going to make it worse,” said resident Richard Lauro.

A traffic engineer that Curcio hired pointed out that the vacant parcel used to house a gas station brought more frequent traffic to the area than the proposed development will.

The Babylon Town Board will hold a public hearing June 12, at 6 p.m. at Town Hall in Lindenhurst, to consider the zone change application.

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