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Riverhead Town sues homeowners for rental violations

Riverhead Town is suing the owners of a Polish Town home in state Supreme Court for numerous violations of its rental permit law, which requires all homes that are rented to have a permit from the town and a safety inspection.

The property in question is located at 1015 Parkway St. and is owned by GTL Management Corp. of 134 Mariner Drive in Southampton.

That company is owned by Lyle Pike of Southampton, its chief executive officer, along with his brother Gary Pike and Timothy Marotta Swanson, both of whom live in Hampton Bays, according to court records.

Tax records show the 134 Mariner Drive address is associated with seven properties in Riverhead Town and 20 more in Riverside and Flanders. Another 37 properties elsewhere in Southampton Town are associated with the address, according to tax rolls there.

Both towns have been critical of the condition of some of those properties and have held public hearings to require them to be made safe or be demolished.

The Parkway Street home has a certificate of occupancy for a single-family dwelling, according to its deed, and none of the three property owners listed in court papers live there, according to officials, who say at least six other people were living there.

In an Aug. 2 inspection by town code enforcement officers, the Parkway Street home had “hazardous rubbish and debris, including a shopping cart, interior furniture, motor oil containers, a variety of motor vehicle parts and an old television scattered around” the premises, according to court records. Neighbors have frequently complained about the property to the town.

A large garage door also had broken panels and was inoperable, there were three unregistered cars and one unregistered motorcycle on the property, inoperable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and multiple extension cords were being used as permanent wiring, court documents show.

The property owners could not be reached for comment.

The Town Board authorized legal action against the property owners on May 17 and the lawsuit was filed on Sept. 22. Officials say fines and penalties are steeper in state Supreme Court than they are in town Justice Court.

The Town Board on May 17 also authorized legal action on three other similar cases — on Tide Court in Wading River, Fisher Avenue in Riverhead and Sweezy Avenue in Riverhead — but has yet to actually go to court on those cases.

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Photo: 1015 Parkway Street in Riverhead. (Credit: Tim Gannon)