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Where Are the Eyesores in Your Town?

Tell us where the poorly maintained buildings are and find out what you can do about them.

 

An ill-managed, dilapidated home or building can be a source of unwanted attention in local communities. 

Through our "Empty in Smithtown" series, Patch has taken a look at some of these blighted properties and asked residents about their potential future use. However, we are sure there's a few more "eyesores" out there that haven't been brought to our attention yet.

Contacting Town of Smithtown Building Department and Public Safety Department is one way residents can help take care of blighted properties. 

Under Smithtown Town Code, Smithtown town officials recognize that a blighted property can have a negative impact on surrounding properties, homes or business, and that they  have a right to step in and change. In section 221-1 it reads: 

by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, certain structures, properties and lots have the effect of creating blighting conditions and initiating slums, dangerous conditions and unsightliness and that, if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same.

In June 2011,by creating a master list of 19 properties - that has since grown to 21. Smithtown officials authorized the Building Department to take action last month to head out and after receiving several phone calls from local residents. 

The town code, under section 112-25 A, defines unsafe buildings and structures by the following criteria:  

  • If they do not provide adequate egress which creates a fire hazard, or is otherwise dangerous to human life.
  • If they create hazards to safety or health due to inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence, or abandonment. 

For questions or concerns regarding the town's code, residents can call the Building Department Director John Bongino at 631-360-7522. 

Do you have any building or homes in your community that are eyesores that you think belong on the blighted buildings list? If so, tell us where in the comment section below.

squaw August 21, 2012 at 10:36 PM
It is disgusting how some private residences are keeping there property. These people live in their homes, they are not abandoned houses. We have neighbors on Dillmont Drive that never mow, leave garbage everywhere and do not close the pool or clean the pool. The town has been called and so has vector controll. The town has been around but it NEVER changes. We live near filthy people that do not try to do anything. Smithtown needs to fine people just like Massapequa and the Hamptons do. Seems like some people never pay the piper and the rest of us suffer....I pay a lot in my mortgage and taxes to live near these dirty homes. It saddens me greatly and I want out. Who would buy my home looking around at how others keeps their property so very dirty, unhealthy, and dangerously vile.
John Gruber August 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM
you can't fine people for not cleaning their yards or taking care of their pool. if they're leaving trash all over the street than yea they can't be doing that. but you can't police people into keeping up their houses, it's theirs to do what they want with it, it sucks but you can't call the cops if your neighbor doesn't mow the lawn.
squaw August 22, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Other towns do enforce the codes and charge fines and so should Smithtown. Yes you should have a code of conduct for property maintance. Four foot tall grass, garbage all over, and mosquitos from a dirty pool is not okay..EVER.
f August 27, 2012 at 01:03 AM
I have done some research on this and a municipality does have the right to fine and collect money when there is a cause of abandonment or neglect. In Smithtown the legal team has to make the decision to prosecute violators but the word "COST" comes up and nothing is done. Why not charge the property owner what it actually costs to collect a fine if it gets to that point. We have a great public safety department and they could start the process of cleaning up Smithtown.
James Olson August 28, 2012 at 02:15 PM
There can be a fine line between a property owner's right of use and neighbours' properly applied expectations of a certain level of quality of life. Some things should be self-evident such as a failure to prevent a swimming pool from becoming a mosquito breeding ground is not among an owner's right of use protections. But what is the proper landscaping for a front yard? Do I have a right to create a rock garden? What about a vegetable garden in front of my home? May I paint a team logo across the front of my house? May I build an all glass geodesic dome as my residence? May I park my boat and motorhome on my front lawn? In my driveway? These are the types of issues most municipality governments try to avoid getting involved. They err on the side of caution because many homeowners can be litigious when they feel their rights are being infringed.

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