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Mastic Beach takes steps to demolish two homes deemed unsafe

Two Mastic Beach homes that village officials say pose a threat to the community have been ordered demolished, but a property owner and a bank representative objected to the decision.

The village board approved the pair of measures, 4-0, at Tuesday's trustee meeting to knock down the homes in 60 days under Chapter 180 of the village code, which allows for structures deemed unsafe to be torn down.

Queens resident Ashwani Khanna, 63, told the board he purchased the home at 51 Daisy Dr. during a Queens County Public Administrator auction on Jan. 23 for $45,000 without first viewing it. He told the board another buyer would like to purchase the residence from him for $50,000.

Khanna said he believes he wasted his money on the house by purchasing it at a public auction. "It's sad," he said in an interview, adding that he did not want the house demolished.

Village officials said the home failed an inspection and has electrical violations, no windows, foundation cracks, and has been vacant for years. In addition to structural issues, one of the village trustees said the location of the house was also an issue.

"The problem with this property is that it is in freshwater wetlands," trustee Maura Spery said at the meeting.

Officials told Khanna, who said he had hoped to rebuild the house, to contact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to determine the extent of wetlands on the property, and if any restrictions have been imposed on it.

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing U.S. Bank National Association, of St. Paul, Minnesota, on behalf of a foreclosed home at 168 Lynbrook Dr., said the financial institution does not want that residence knocked down.

The trustees said that home also failed an inspection, has a chimney that has separated from the house and vegetation growing through its roof.

Westbury attorney John Ricciardi told the board that the house has value to U.S. Bank National Association. He said the bank has foreclosed on the home, but didn't yet have ownership and was still determining whether the house is vacant. He said the bank had no responsibility to maintain the home.


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