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Saturday, August 2, 2014
Neighbors have complained to the village on numerous occasions about the condition of vacant buildings on Gibson Boulevard, just south of the train station.
News
Gibson property owner hit for more violations
Residents angered over condition of vacant buildings

Village officials have issued three summonses to the owner of a pair of vacant commercial buildings after residents complained last week about the condition of the property.

Code Enforcement officers cited Dr. Leonard Bleicher, owner of the two buildings, which are just south of the Gibson Long Island Rail Road station on Gibson Boulevard, for high grass and weeds as well as graffiti, and for allowing the storage of vehicles on the property without a permit. Residents also complained about a loose piece of metal hanging off one of the buildings. Village Clerk Bob Barra said it was a piece of stripping, and he removed it himself.

The condition of the buildings, which once housed about a dozen businesses, has drawn the ire of local residents for years. The village’s Board of Zoning Appeals approved a 39-unit apartment complex for the site, but Bleicher never built it. The land is now for sale.

With no activity at the site, the buildings have fallen into disrepair, local homeowners say, and have been a constant target of vandals. “The residents who are impacted by this are totally fed up, and they’re tired of complaining with no results,” said Gibson Boulevard resident Mary Ellen McGroary. “The buildings have been vacant for so long that they’re now starting to fall apart.”

This is not the first time Bleicher has been cited by the village for code violations, and he has paid thousands of dollars in fines in the past. Barra said that when residents complain about a problem at the buildings, the village notifies Bleicher immediately. If a problem isn’t resolved quickly, Barra added, the village doesn’t hesitate to write a summons.

Barra said that the recent complaints are the first the village has received about the property in several months. Carol Crupi, president of the Valley Stream Community Association, contacted Barra last week.

“I’m happy with the response,” she said, noting that officials appeared almost immediately to inspect the property and issue summonses. “It’s obvious no one is taking care of the property.”

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