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Massapequa Park passes anti-blight law

Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna Jr. stands near

Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna Jr. stands near the former site of now-shuttered Brunswick Hospital Center in Amityville. (Dec. 23, 2011) Credit: Ed Betz

Massapequa Park officials have passed an aggressive home maintenance law they say was inspired by banks that let foreclosed homes in the village fall into disrepair.

The newly amended chapter of the village code requires all property owners — including banks and landlords of rental homes — to mow lawns and trim hedges on a weekly basis, drain stagnant water, exterminate vermin, clean graffiti and otherwise ensure upkeep.
“Blighted property is prohibited,” the law reads plainly.

The board of trustees on Monday adopted the law, 4-0, with one member absent, after a public hearing.

Offending homeowners will be served violation notices, village officials said.

If they don’t remedy the situation, village crews will clean up or fix the property and bill the homeowners, officials said.

Homeowners can be fined as much as $1,000 for the first offense, $2,500 for the second and $10,000 for the third, according to the law. Violators also could face imprisonment at any point.

“We wanted to be aggressive to get the attention of the banks and the homeowners,” Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna Jr. said Tuesday. “We are asking them to do what any other resident in the village does — which is take care of their homes.”

Blighted homes threaten property values and can be a safety hazard to others living in the neighborhood, he said, adding that he believes the law is “a relief” for residents.

Above: Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna Jr.

 

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