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Nonprofit sues Babylon Town over ticketing of adult home

This house for people with mental disabilities on

This house for people with mental disabilities on Conklin Street in East Farmingdale is run by Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, which is suing the Town of Babylon. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

An Old Bethpage nonprofit is suing the Town of Babylon and one of its zoning inspectors for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act, court documents show.

The nonprofit, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, operates housing facilities for people with mental disabilities across Long Island, including one on Conklin Street in East Farmingdale, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court last month.

It was that facility that Babylon senior zoning inspector Maryann Andersen ticketed in August for allegedly violating the town code, according to the complaint, which described such penalties as “intentional discrimination against people with disabilities.”

Babylon Town Attorney Joseph Wilson declined to comment on the merits of the allegation, but said “the town is working closely with this organization and we are confident that a settlement can be reached to address their concerns.”

Wilson said the Conklin Street facility violated the town code’s prohibition on a “private proprietary home for adults” on property zoned for residential use.

The code defines such homes as “an adult-care facility . . . providing temporary or long-term residential care, room, board, housekeeping, personal care and supervision to adults.”

Family Enterprises contends, however, that the facility is not a proprietary home, Wilson said.

The organization has not received any permits for operating the facility, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said, although it requires a zoning variance or a rental permit from the town to operate there.

The nonprofit declined to comment on the case, as did a spokesman for its attorney, citing the ongoing litigation.

The complaint also contends that Andersen has issued tickets to other housing facilities for the disabled in the town under similar circumstances.

“Apparently, there is a pattern and practice on the part of both the Defendant Town and Defendant Andersen to issue tickets against residences for people with disabilities in single family residential zones merely because the residences house people with disabilities,” the complaint read.

The plaintiff is asking that the town void the ticket, refrain from issuing others in similar cases, and pay for damages and fees, according to the complaint.

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