Proposed Jehovah's Witnesses house of worship draws fire

WEST BABYLON - A plan to build a Jehovah's Witnesses kingdom hall in West Babylon has met fierce opposition from local residents.

The proposed house of worship would be a 3,900 square-foot building on Forest Avenue that could hold nearly 200 members. The property would also include about 50 parking spaces.

"There's no positives for us living here to have any public assembly building built in a residential neighborhood," says resident Joe Mezzacappa.

Earlier this month, residents voiced their concerns about the project at a public hearing. Now, the fate of the kingdom hall is in the hands of the town planning board.

"There's no concern they won't approve it because we sought the land with the proper zoning," says Jehovah's Witnesses minister Robert Hendriks.

Hendriks adds that he understands where the residents are coming from and says they're still making changes to the project to mitigate their quality of life and traffic concerns.

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