Riverhead issues $10K in tickets for uncleared Route 58 sidewalks

Forty businesses were cited this week for failing to clear their sidewalks. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)
Forty businesses were cited this week for failing to clear their sidewalks. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

With sidewalks impassable along much of Route 58, leaving pedestrians to either walk on the road or atop snow and ice, Riverhead Town code enforcers have issued $10,000 in fines to property owners, saying they have properly failed to clear their sidewalks.

Forty property owners have been cited for not adhering to section 92-11 of the town code, and more tickets will likely be forthcoming.

The tickets — which carry a $250 fine per citation and can be appealed — were written to property owners themselves rather than businesses.

According to Town Investigator Richard Downs, the town has the option to write a ticket to one or the other.

Sidewalk2Councilman Jim Wooten, the Town Board’s liaison to the handicapped advisory committee, issued a letter in December 2014 warning that “sidewalks and pathways must be kept clean and passable according to Town Law; that is your responsibility as a business owner or property owner.”

A Freedom of Information Law request found that as of last Friday, no citations had been issued.

“We did send a letter out,” said town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz. “We were trying to get compliance; it wasn’t like we weren’t. But I don’t know what else to do with these people.”

He said most of the violators — a list of which is provided below — “are from large corporations that own the shopping centers.”

In fact, nearly three-quarters of the citations were issued to out-of-town businesses.

Mr. Downs said on Thursday morning that most of the tickets were issued west of Roanoke Avenue, and that more tickets will likely be issued for property owners east of the traffic circle.

While section 92-11 of the town code applies to business owners townwide as well as residents, the small staff in the code enforcement department largely responds to specific complaints sent into Town Hall. The department is staffed with 2.5 employees (one being part-time), leaving 1.5 employees to respond to those complaints. One full-time employee is tasked with inspecting buildings, Mr. Downs said.

The chief investigator in town, Mr. Downs said he would like to see the section of the town code pertaining to snow removal updated, perhaps applying only to specific zoning districts in town. He said that, for example, he would like to see some properties on Roanoke Avenue come into compliance, so some tickets may be issued there. Downtown, he said, every property owner aside from one has shoveled its sidewalk.

The $250 fine on the books applies to both residents and businesses alike.

Currently, section 92-11 reads as follows: “Each owner or occupant of any house or other building, and any owner or person entitled to possession of any vacant lot, and any person having charge of any church or any public building in the Town shall, during the winter season or during the time snow shall continue on the ground, keep the sidewalk in front of the lot or house free from obstruction by snow or ice and icy conditions, and shall at all times keep the sidewalk in good and safe repair and maintain it in a clean condition, free from filth, dirt, weeds or other obstructions or encumbrances.”

The following property owners have been cited through Wednesday:

– AJ Richard & Sons, Inc. Farmingdale, N.Y.

– Riverhead PGC, LLC. Albany, N.Y.

– 833 Realty Corp. Riverhead, NY

– Strong Oil Company. Water Mill, N.Y.

– Riverhead Auto-Wash, LTD. Riverhead, N.Y.

– Old Country Road Realty. Astoria, N.Y.

– Bell Boulevard Realty, LLC. Astoria, N.Y.

– Bell Boulevard Realty, LLC. Astoria, N.Y.

– Bell Boulevard Realty, LLC. Astoria, N.Y.

– Requerdo Co. Sarasota, Fla.

– 1099 Royal, LLC. New York, N.Y.

– North Fork Management, Corp. Garden City, N.Y.

– Wendy’s Restaurants of New York, LLC. New York, N.Y.

– FCR Riverhead, LLC. Albany, N.Y.

– Riverhead Professional Building Partnership. Riverhead, N.Y.

– CHA Riverhead, Inc. Cutchogue, N.Y.

– Mark Weeboldt. Wantagh, N.Y.

– Riverhead Osborne Realty, LLC. Riverhead, N.Y.

– 317 Properties, LLC. Riverhead, N.Y.

– Hogan Riverhead, LLC. Locust Valley, N.Y.

– UB Riverhead I., LLC. Albany, N.Y.

– World Life Entertainment, Corp. Copaigue, N.Y.

– SL Gateway II, LLC. Albany, N.Y.

– TRW Properties, LLC. Patchogue, N.Y.

– Lee Milt’s Petroleum, Inc. New York, N.Y.

– Brixmore Roanoke Plaza, LLC. Albany, N.Y.

– Warner’s Plaza, Inc. Riverhead, N.Y.

– B,J Investment Twenty-Seven, LLC. Baltimore, Mary.

– Paul Martin, LLC. Riverhead, N.Y.

– Taco Bell Corp. New York, N.Y.

– Eagle Properties, LLC. Riverhead, N.Y.

– Target Corp. Minneapolis, Minn.

– Riverhead Motors, Inc. Riverhead, N.Y.

– Brixmore Roanoke Plaza, LLC. Albany, N.Y.

– Davis R. Szczesny. E. Quogue, N.Y.

– Winkal holdings, LLC. Albany, N.Y.

– Ianlew Corp. Hempstead, N.Y.

– W2 Riverhead, LLC. Deerfield, Ill.

– Autozone Inc. New York, N.Y.

– Mark Weeboldt. Wantagh, N.Y.

Caption: Dallas Wiese walks up Route 58 about once a week to meet his mother after her shift at Stop & Shop ends. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)