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Riverhead issues more than 100 violations to owners of 10 downtown properties

The town supervisor said a code enforcement crackdown revealed asbestos, cracked foundation walls, unsafe wiring and, in some cases, no inspections in a decade.

Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith announces the violations issued

Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith announces the violations issued last week to owners of downtown properties. Looking on are town board members and code enforcement officials. Photo Credit: Newsday / Jean-Paul Salamanca

More than 100 violations were issued to downtown Riverhead property owners in what was dubbed a “major action” cracking down on potentially unsafe buildings, Riverhead officials announced Tuesday at Town Hall.

While officials declined to reveal which 10 properties had been issued the violations, Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said violations that Riverhead’s fire marshal and code enforcement agents issued last week to the property owners ranged from animal infestation to exposed asbestos, leaky roofs, unsafe electrical wiring, foundation walls with severe cracks and nonoperational fire and sprinkler systems, among other problems.

Some of the buildings, Jens-Smith added, had not been inspected in 10 years and had deteriorated “to such an extent that they are unsafe for potential businesses looking to relocate in Riverhead’s downtown.”

“It is absolutely unacceptable for this situation to continue,” Jens-Smith said. “It is time that Riverhead reclaims its downtown for its residents, for its businesses and for our future.”

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