WEST BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Homeowners in one Long Island village said they have a simple request — they want the park across the street and the little league baseball players who use it to be better neighbors.
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, it has been a busy summer on the ball field.
Errant baseballs, too numerous to count, have been crashing and careening into houses, cars, and garages across the street from West Babylon’s Pape Park.
The Acerras have replaced their garage door twice, and a dining room picture window.
“We spent well over a thousand dollars on window repairs, panels on the garage door, damage to the car,” Michael Acerra said.
The Forsyths said that 40 years ago, the park was a tulip field. Now, they live 100 feet from home plate and infield dust blows in from across the street.
“Normally, I don’t even open my windows. Dirt dust comes in constantly,” Joanne Forsyth said.
Home video shows kids having fun, playing soccer, baseball, and football, but residents say the noise is out of control. The park’s PA system and lights stay on until 11 p.m.
“It is so loud. The intercom is unbelievable. I have to shut my windows and turn my TV up and I still hear everything,” Janet Frey said.
The taxpaying homeowners say they deserve game day sanity. Some nights their driveways are filled with strangers’ cars and there is little room to negotiate the narrow two lane road.
“We’ve spoken to the town at town meetings, they basically told us, you shouldn’t have bought your house there,” Davi Acerra said. “Twenty-nine years ago, there wasn’t this giant baseball field. It was a tiny youth league.”
The town said that it has been monitoring the park for decades, and that the local leagues have been good neighbors.
“Pape Park has been there almost 40 years. The lights have been there since 1978,” Babylon Parks and Recreation Commissioner Frank Bachety said.
Residents have asked for an earlier curfew for lights, lower volume on the public address system, a buffer of trees and more nets to trap foul balls.
Public hearings are not required to install park upgrades like lighting and sound systems.
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