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Smithtown to remove unsafe structures at ex-sanitation company

John Haynes, owner of Fairview Holding Corp., which

John Haynes, owner of Fairview Holding Corp., which owns a site located at 10 Fairview Ave. in Smithtown, speaks on Dec. 15, 2015, during a public hearing before the Smithtown board at Town Hall. Photo Credit: Newsday / Lauren R. Harrison

Unsafe buildings at the Smithtown site of a former sanitation company are targeted to come down.

The town board voted 4-0 Tuesday to authorize town officials to enter the property at 10 Fairview Ave. to remove or repair what they called unsafe conditions that violate town code.

Assistant Town Attorney Martin Simon said in an interview that the site has several property maintenance concerns, including graffiti, rubbish and debris as well as the deteriorating structures.

Property owner John Haynes, 57, of Hampton Bays, said Friday that he plans to fight the town’s entry onto the property and referred to the graffiti as “works of art.”

“It’s an absolute violation of my civil rights,” Haynes said of the town board’s decision. “They have no right to come onto my property and take down a viable structure because they don’t like the way it looks.”

The town board held a public hearing in December about going onto the property, which it is considering purchasing.

Haynes said he wouldn’t take any structure down because he didn’t have a guarantee that the town will move forward with plans to purchase the property.

Haynes also took exception to citations about unsafe conditions. “I am a union ironworker in the city for the last 18 years . . . I erect buildings,” he said. “I am telling you that that structure is physically sound on the interior skeleton.”

Judy Weisman, whose backyard abuts Haynes’ property, said the former trash collection and waste transfer site has been an eyesore for more than 20 years.

“If you go on the train overpass, when you get off the train . . . all you need to do is turn around and there it is,” she said at the hearing. “It’s unsafe. It’s been falling down for years.”

Weisman said Friday that she was skeptical and cautiously optimistic about the board’s decision, adding, “It’s just been a constant source of aggravation.”

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