Two New Cassel eyesores may soon be demolished, as the North Hempstead town board recently approved the designation of “zombie” homes at 32 Third Ave. and 240 Sheridan St. as unsafe, vacant homes suitable for demolition.
The first step in the process to remove a home is having the town board declare a structure “unsafe.” The town will first issue a final notice of intent to the owner of the property to request that they either repair or demolish the home immediately. If no immediate action is taken, the town will then schedule the home for demolition.
“Abandoned and unsafe properties have a debilitating impact on our communities and serve as magnets for criminal mischief,” said Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “This is a great first step in having these zombie homes removed in order to improve the quality of life for the whole neighborhood.”
The property at 32 Third Ave. was the site of a fire in January 2015. The 1,663-square-foot single family home is in foreclosure, last sold in December 2005.
Coldwell Banker has the home at 240 Sheridan St. listed as a “knock down due to significant fire damage,” which it sustained during a blaze in April 2015. The four bedroom, two bathroom house was built in 1936 and sits on a 7,500 square foot lot.
Councilwoman Viviana Russell noted that the town had received several complaints about both properties. They are working with the attorney of one of the properties, as the owner said they wanted to demolish it themselves. The property owners will continue to retain ownership of the sites after demolition.
“I am glad we have laws in place that allow us to rid the community of these decaying properties that have been a nightmare for residents that live in proximity to them and have frustrated our community for a long period of time,” said Russell.
Recently, the town was awarded a $159,000 grant from the Office of the New York State Attorney General to address the growing statewide problem of so-called “zombie homes”—vacant and abandoned homes that are not maintained during a prolonged foreclosure proceeding. In the coming months, the town will be increasing efforts to educate residents on foreclosure prevention, which will include outreach, as well as an educational event on June 20 at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in New Cassel.