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Babylon Town alters code to allow extra bedroom for seniors

The Engel Burman Group of Garden City wants

The Engel Burman Group of Garden City wants to build 200 one-bedroom senior apartments with dens on the site of the former George Washington School in Deer Park. Credit: Daniel Goodrich

The Town of Babylon will now allow developers to build two-bedroom apartments for seniors.

The town board voted unanimously last Wednesday to approve adding “two bedroom” to the town’s code on senior housing. The code now also establishes the minimum habitable floor area for such apartments at 650 square feet. Parking requirements are also changing from one space per one-bedroom unit to 1 1⁄2 spaces for each one-bedroom unit and one-quarter of a space for each additional bedroom.

Town spokesman Kevin Bonner had said the inclusion of two bedrooms is intended to address shifts in senior housing where there are more instances of seniors using a spare room or den as a second bedroom. This has led to issues with parking, he said.

A Deer Park resident who spoke at a public hearing on the code changes said that among those he knows living in senior housing in the community, “the one comment that they all seem to have is that they wish they had two bedrooms.”

The first project to benefit from the code change will be in Deer Park, Supervisor Rich Schaffer told the resident. The Engel Burman Group of Garden City had proposed building 200 one-bedroom senior apartments with dens on the site of the closed Washington Avenue elementary school. The town board in August granted the developer’s rezoning request for the property, and the site plan was approved by the town planning board in January.

Bonner said that after the town indicated in February that it would propose changing the code, Engel Burman informed the planning department that the company was interested in having all 200 units as two-bedrooms. Engel Burman has not yet submitted an application for the changes, he said.

If the developer does propose changing to two-bedrooms, Bonner said, a modified site plan would have to be submitted and approved by the planning board, but no additional public hearings would be held. The site plan would also have to include the new changes to the parking requirements for two-bedroom apartments, Bonner added.

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