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Springs man faces 29 code violations over basement rental

A Springs homeowner has been charged with 29 East Hampton Town and New York State code violations for allegedly converting his single-family ranch house into a two-story structure with an illegal basement apartment.

Officials allege that several smoke detectors in the home, at 64 Woodbine Dr., had been taken down or were missing, and that the lower-level apartment had a full kitchen and bathroom, walls and plumbing, as well as electrical outlets, all of which had been constructed and installed without the required building permits or inspections.

Gerard Picco, 54, the home’s owner, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. He was issued an appearance ticket to appear in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Jan. 16.

David A. Betts, the town’s public safety director, announced the charges in a news release issued Wednesday after East Hampton Town police and investigators from the town’s ordinance department executed a search warrant.

Betts said that Picco, who was present at the time of the inspection, resides with his family on the main floor of the house, while a second family lives in an illegal basement apartment. He added that the three-bedroom, two-bath ranch had been converted to a seven-bedroom, three-bath, two-story residence.

Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said illegal occupancy must be strictly enforced.

“Illegal and unsafe basement occupancy creates the potential for tragic consequences for occupants and overcrowds neighborhoods,” he said.

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