Petition calls for village to spare historic buildings from demolition
Residents in Babylon are calling on village officials to stop developers from remodeling or tearing down historic buildings in the village.
Neighbors are urging the village to add a new code to protect historic structures. A petition on Change.org currently has more than 1,500 signatures.
It comes after a developer sought approval to tear down two 19th century buildings on West Main Street, including a former English pub. The developer's plan calls for replacing the structures with a commercial building that includes retail shops on the ground floor with apartments or offices upstairs.
According to residents, several historic structures were recently torn down, and some say the new plan would change the landscape and charm of Babylon Village.
"Unfortunately, developers come in and want to tear them down and put up pretend Victorians and pretend colonials," says Mary Gallagher, a lifelong resident of the village.
But Babylon Mayor Ralph Scordino says changing the code could also financially hurt the owners of such buildings. In a statement, he said, "We have many old homes and buildings. This is not something that will affect a small number of buildings. We have to consider all aspects very carefully."
The statement continued, "At this time, the village board is not developing a code regarding historical homes and buildings. However, we are listening to the concerns of our residents about this issue. We recognize the significance of history but we also understand the restrictions that are placed on historical homes."