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Amityville cancels hearing on demolition of Sandy property

The property on Norman Avenue in Amityville as

The property on Norman Avenue in Amityville as it looked June 7. Credit: Barry Sloan

The Village of Amityville has canceled a public hearing on the demolition of a superstorm Sandy-damaged house after the owner submitted plans to demolish it himself.

The village announced last month that a hearing would be held Monday night on the house on Norman Avenue that was flooded in the 2012 storm and sustained additional damage from a fire months later. The property was purchased by the state in March 2017 for $314,976 as part of its Sandy acquisitions program, according to the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. The house was then sold for $169,600 at auction in June 2017 to Peter Wolf of Ronkonkoma.

The village has received four or five complaints from a few people since then, said village building inspector Bryan Donato. The grievances were about rodents and the house not being secure, he said. A February inspection by a village code enforcement officer found the building “clearly unsafe for its use” due to a rodent infestation, with the officer’s report stating that the house does not conform to village building and fire codes and is a “harbor for vagrants, criminals and immoral persons.”

Wolf did not take corrective measures after being given 30 days to do so, according to the village, and in April, Donato recommended that the village first bait the property for rodents and then demolish it.

Last week a builder Wolf has hired, Bill Deak, submitted plans for demolishing the existing house and building a new one. Wolf directed a Newsday reporter’s questions to Deak, who disputes the village’s findings.

“There’s no rodents there, there never has been,” he said. “We make sure we maintain the property exquisitely.”

Next-door neighbor Karen Himmelmann said that isn’t true. She said she has found rat tunnels in her yard and discovered a dead rat while gardening next to Wolf’s fence.

“We never had rats or raccoons here before,” she said.

Wolf is seeking several variances for a new house and on Wednesday submitted an application to the zoning board of appeals, which will next meet on July 19.

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