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Deer Park residents fear more traffic as board considers zone change request for business 

Wagstaff Partners Ltd. and nearby homeowners at odds over property at Old Country Road and Route 231 that company wants rezoned to business use.

A proposed medical building in Deer Park has riled neighbors of the site, who say the building would add more traffic on an already-congested roadway.

Wagstaff Partners Ltd.  has applied to Babylon Town for a change of zone, from residential to business, for the property on the northeast corner of Old Country Road and Route 231. The developer wants to build a two-story medical office building on the site totaling 3,994 square feet. In November, Wagstaff had proposed a 6,600-square-foot office building for the site — which has two houses on it — and was met with opposition.

At a town board public hearing on Wednesday, Wagstaff was represented by attorney Rachel Scelfo, who noted that the project does not need any variances and would include a six-foot fence and shrubbery to protect the privacy of nearby homes.

Scelfo said the developer has “really tried to listen to some of the concerns” of neighbors after the larger proposal and provided additional buffer room from adjoining homes.

Nine residents spoke out against the proposal, stating concerns about the building only adding congestion and dangerous conditions to existing traffic woes in the neighborhood.

“I can barely get out of my driveway as it is,” said Andrew Hall, whose home is on Old Country Road. “It’s important that you keep this area residential.”

Scelfo said the town’s traffic engineer had not recommended a traffic study. She said sidewalks would be added, making the area safer.

Residents also complained about the state of the two homes on the site owned by Wagstaff CEO Geoffrey Matherson, noting poor maintenance and numerous work vans.

“Why should we trust them in the future?” said Barbara Parrish, a resident of Old Country Road. “It’s going to become another pit of trash.”

Town records show that workers have found numerous violations on Matherson’s property dating to 2010, including debris, overgrown weeds and commercial vehicles parked on the lawn.

At the town board hearing, Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer said he passes the property frequently and has regularly called in complaints himself.  “It’s a problem when I know about it,” he said.

The board did not make a decision, with Schaffer noting he is “going to ask further questions” about the state of the property.  

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