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Squatters prompt emergency action by Town of Babylon

Neighbors saying squatters were illegally living in this

Neighbors saying squatters were illegally living in this abandoned house on Greenwood Road in North Babylon prompted emergency action by the Town of Babylon. (Sept. 11, 2013) Photo Credit: Denise Bonilla

The Babylon Town Board held an emergency meeting Friday to approve boarding up two vacant properties in which squatters were living.

The board voted to clean up 120 Greenwood Dr. and 127 Weeks Rd. in North Babylon’s Parkdale neighborhood.

Residents had complained of squatters living in and moving between the two homes, as well as other homes on Kime Avenue. The situation reached a boiling point last week at a civic association meeting during which scores of residents voiced their frustration with and fear of the squatters, who they said were becoming hostile.

Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer promised quick action and by Wednesday, four of the half dozen troubled properties had been boarded up, with the Suffolk County Water Authority turning off water to the Greenwood and Weeks homes. On Friday, those two properties were also boarded up; and the costs for all six homes, which Babylon officials estimate in the thousands of dollars, are being billed to the owners.

The squatters in the Greenwood house left after the town posted an order to vacate, but a squatter was at the Weeks house Friday when police arrived. That man, whom Suffolk County police identified as William Nowack, 19, had an unrelated warrant and was arrested.

Town officials said next week they hope to meet with owners of the Greenwood and Weeks homes — identified by the town as John Castro and Joe Smith respectively — to discuss the properties.

Danielle Leacock, who lives near the Weeks Road house, said Friday that she is relieved.

“I haven’t been sleeping because of this issue,” she said. “Now I can sleep at night, knowing those houses are boarded up and secure and the people that shouldn’t have been living there are out.”


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