Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Councilman Louis Imbroto and Town Clerk James Altadonna, Jr. today commenced demolition at two vacant “zombie” homes in Locust Valley. After inspection, the Department of Planning and Development declared both homes an imminent danger to the safety and welfare of the residents in the surrounding neighborhood. The Saladino administration and Town Quality of Life Task Force are aggressively addressing “zombie” homes through code enforcement and demolition programs designed to rid neighborhoods of such eyesores.
Supervisor Saladino stated, “My administration is committed to combatting dilapidated and abandoned properties in the Town of Oyster Bay. Through the Quality of Life Task Force, we are restoring local neighborhoods, protecting property values and ensuring public safety in our communities. While Locust Valley neighbors have referred to these actions as A Miracle on Thirteenth Street, this new level of enforcement will no longer be surprising when we enter other communities in the Town.”
Following complaints submitted to the Town of Oyster Bay’s Code Enforcement Bureau for lack of maintenance, Town building inspectors visited properties on Thirteenth Street. After clearing several locations of overgrowth, inspectors discovered that two of the homes, numbers 47 and 51, were severely damaged beyond repair. Inspectors determined both homes were structurally unsound. Inspections revealed several openings throughout walls and roofs. In regard to 47 Thirteenth Street, open windows revealed the collapse of ceiling joists onto the first floor. Water damage was seen throughout the entire first floor as evidenced by destroyed sheetrock and exposed insulation that has fallen from the framing cavities. Portions of the sill plate deteriorated to the point where some sections of the vertical framing were no longer attached to the foundation. An addition in the rear of the home was separating from the rest of the house. Additionally, the entire basement was full of water. In regards to 51 Thirteenth Street, water damage was seen throughout the entire rear first floor as evidenced by destroyed sheetrock and exposed insulation. The chimney was falling apart and not properly supported to the home. The detached garage had become dilapidated and the garage roof allowed rain water to enter the structure.
“The nationwide foreclosure crisis resulted in a number of abandoned properties throughout Long Island. As time has passed, these abandoned homes have deteriorated due to a lack of regular maintenance and repair,” stated Councilman Imbroto. “The Town of Oyster Bay is aggressively addressing unsafe conditions to protect the well-being of our residents and quality of life in our communities.”
Pursuant to Chapter 96 (Dangerous Building), Section 20 (Emergencies) of the Code of the Town of Oyster Bay, the Commissioner of Planning and Development declared both homes Dangerous Buildings, and ordered demolition of the structures.
Town Clerk Altadonna, Jr. added, “We are proud to work with citizens and civic associations to identity both residential and commercial properties that are impacting the quality of our communities. Together, we will take back our neighborhoods by addressing code violations and demolishing dilapidated and abandoned properties such as these Locust Valley homes.”
Through the creation of the new Town Quality of Life Taskforce, efforts have been made in other communities, such as East Massapequa. Working with residents in that neighborhood, Task Force members have been working diligently to address two abandoned properties on Clocks Boulevard, looking for every mechanism in their power to clean up rid the properties of any blight.
The Town’s Quality of Life Task Force continues to work toward combatting vacant and dilapidated homes. Through the use of a $350,000 State grant obtained earlier this year, the Task Force is making recommendations to update the Town Code to address the “zombie” home crisis and better hold lending institutions responsible for maintenance and repair of vacant homes.