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Friday, March 6, 2015
Grass or gravel?
(Page 2 of 2)

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.

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impaul2012

Thank you for publishing this article on the properties owned by Thomas Morash on Merton & Ocean Avenues.

I would like to point out a couple of corrections if I may & make an editorial suggestion -

1) next to Last paragraph pg 2 of online story

" D'Agostino said they no longer have utilities and have been vacant for years."

The only property that has been vacant for years is #417 Ocean Ave - which is the house in dilapidated condition used on pg. 1 of your story. #3 & #9 Merton Ave were owner occupied until Mr. Morash purchased the properties within the past year or so.

The properties had utilities all along until Mr. Morash had the utility companies come in and turn off and remove all utilities in 2012 in preparation of demolishing the homes. (And now my opinion - this may also have been done at the time to pressure the neighbors to accept his plan for the parking lot - to get us to feel as if demolition was imminent.)

My opinion as well - to give a more balanced view of what the properties actually look like - I would suggest you modify the article to include photos of #3 & #5 Merton Ave which readers would see are in excellent condition, unlike #417 which is awful looking.

Thanks,

Paul Tubin

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