The residents of Merton Avenue and surrounding streets have vehemently opposed the demolition of the homes for more than a year. In 2012, the board heard a proposal from Morash to rezone the three properties from residential to commercial and build a parking lot, which would have augmented parking for the Holiday Inn Express.
Ron Morgenbesser, of Merton Avenue, said he and his neighbors want the homes to remain standing, but the board said that Morash has a right to demolish them. In that case, Morgenbesser said, “We want to see grass there. We don’t want a gravel lot.”
The homes are now surrounded by a chain-link fence, which residents have said they do not enjoy looking at, but D’Agostino told the Herald in April that the fence is there for security and safety. When asked why Morash couldn’t simply rent out the homes, D’Agostino said that would not be cost-effective, since they no longer have utilities and have been vacant for years.
The board reserved its decision and asked D’Agostino to refile a landscaping plan showing the properties with grass, a dry well and any plantings or fencing. According to Village Administrator John Giordano, the board must make a decision at a public meeting. The next meeting is Aug. 12.