Riverhead Town targets ‘unsafe’ buildings


Riverhead Town issued an unsafe building notice last month to the owners of two dilapidated buildings on Main Road, just east of the merge with Routes 58 and 25.

Farther east, however, officials say no violations have been issued to the owner of a 3.5-acre property with four dilapidated structures, including one that burned down earlier this year.

That property is owned by In Shore Construction Co. of Flanders, according to town records.

On Jan. 7, one of the three unoccupied cottages toward the back of the property, which sits just east of Dari-Land Ice Cream, caught fire at about 2 a.m. when a fallen tree snapped live wires going into the building.

The cottage was destroyed, but the fire was contained to the one structure. The fire was not considered suspicious, officials said, adding that although power to the building itself had been turned off, there was still power in the wires coming from the poles.

Two other boarded-up cottages remain at the rear of the property, as does a boarded-up two-story home fronting Main Road.

A sign posted on the two-story building says property is “for sale by owner” for $1.7 million.

A News-Review call to the number on that sign reached an answering device and was not immediately returned.

Riverhead Town’s chief building inspector Brad Hammond said a representative of the property owner had picked up demolition permit applications for the property, but has yet to submit anything.

Neither Mr. Hammond nor town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz were aware of any violations or notices of unsafe buildings for this property.

The two boarded-up houses that have received unsafe building notices from the town are located on the same 38-acre parcel, which stretches back along wetlands and includes another vacant structure farther south, fronting East Main Street.

This property is owned by Day Star Community Development Corp., which has a Dix Hills address.

The notice of unsafe building, issued Jan. 26, gives the property owners 30 days to make the buildings secure. If they fail to do so, the town can call a public hearing on a proposal to take action itself and add the costs to the property’s tax bill.

Deputy town attorney Dawn Thomas said the owner has been working with the town to come up with a solution, which could involve demolishing the buildings or securing them.

Day Star Community Development Corp. also could not be reached for comment.

The 38-acre site, which abuts some wetlands, was listed as a potential site for the Community Benefit Overlay zone in a draft town planning analysis from 2013.

The Community Benefit Overlay zone is best known as the zone being sought for First Baptist Church’s proposed Family Community Life Center on Northville Turnpike.

Town tax records from December also indicate that Day Star owes $8,064 in unpaid property taxes on that parcel and owes a total of $55,226 in back taxes on four properties it owns in Riverhead Town.

Photo caption: An abandoned Riverhead house — one of three located off a dirt road adjacent to Dari-Land Ice Cream — burned to the ground Jan. 7. (Credit: Grant Parpan, file)

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