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Smithtown to target eyesores for clean up or takedown

In the 14 years since a construction company vacated it, the property at 10 Fairview Ave. in Smithtown has been nothing but trouble, Judy Weisman said.

A fire broke out in a car left on the property, and a squatter lived for a year in an abandoned building there, said Weisman, who has lived near the parcel for 38 years. Teenagers paint graffiti on the property -- which is adjacent to a train platform, she added.

"If you take the Long Island Rail Road to Smithtown, . . . this is what you see," Weisman said in an interview Thursday.

The Fairview Avenue parcel, less than a mile from Smithtown Town Hall, is one of 20 identified by town officials as the municipality's most egregious eyesores. The town is trying to force the properties' owners to clean up.

Half have been inspected by town inspectors, and the rest -- including the one on Fairview Avenue -- will be inspected next week, town building director John Bongino said. The properties include vacant homes and abandoned businesses, many of which are owned by banks through foreclosure, Bongino said.

Among the parcels are a pair of homes in Kings Park known as the "Hightower houses," after a previous owner. Neighbors say the homes, never completed, attract vagrants and vermin. The owner, Frederic A. Powell, 56, of East Meadow, is in federal prison on unrelated conspiracy and fraud charges.

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