Despite complaints from residents, the rezoning proposal for the remodeling of South Shore Association for Independent Living (SAIL), located at 585 Merrick Road, was approved by the village board at Monday night's monthly meeting.
The vote, which had been postponed from December's meeting, saw the board vote in favor of the rezoning by a final margin of 4-1 -- the lone "no" vote coming at the last second from Trustee Kevin Glynn.
Residents who live near SAIL complained that the facility has simply been a "bad neighbor," citing a messy property and lack of supervision of residents as ongoing problems.
N. Oceanside Road resident Rich Taylor lives around the corner from the facility and said that while promises from the SAIL staff are nice, he wants assurances that things will change.
"They're a business. Like every other business in this village, they should be subject to what this village is all about," Taylor said. "... Give the building department or fire department or police department unfettered access to this facility and make sure that what they're promising, what they're portraying to this village, is what they're going to deliver."
Village Mayor Francis Murray said that the rezoning legislation was approved because it should make it easier for SAIL to "renovate the property and build a better facility," which should then, in turn, result in less of an impact on the neighbors.
However, prior to the board's approval, Trustee Ed Oppenheimer issued a stern warning to the facility's operators.
Oppenheimer first presented a series of two photos that showed garbage on both sides of the SAIL property, along with overflowing dumpsters and an old storage shed. He continued to say that the organization, despite being not-for-profit, has the financial means to keep the property clean.
"If it takes a few extra dollars to have a maintenance crew come in and clean this property up on a weekly basis, it should be done," he said.
"As the mayor has said, and we all back him up, 'This is your responsibility to be a good neighbor,'" Oppenheimer added. "... Living in this village, or any other village, demands that you respect your neighbors, respect yourselves and keep you property clean and neat, which this obviously has not been kept."