Michael Eisman has been complaining for three years about the conditions at 460 Seaman Ave. “It’s becoming a zombie home,” Eisman said. “The grass isn’t cut … we have concerns about snow during the winter.”
The property, which straddles the Baldwin-Rockville Centre border, has remained mostly vacant since it was last sold in 2015. Police have removed some illegal tenants from the house, according to Eisman, and other legal tenants who lived there rented out rooms in the house. Police were called for various disputes and those tenants were evicted, Eisman said.
The house’s front and back doors are now boarded up and several “No Trespassing” signs are posted in the windows. At night, raccoons and opossums can be spotted in the yard while garbage sits in piles around the house.
Eisman said he and his neighbors just want the property to look better, but their requests have fallen on deaf ears. “We feel the whole thing is not right,” he said. A proposal to divide the lot into four plots has previously been approved by the Village of Rockville Centre’s planning board and the Nassau County Planning Commission, despite opposition from residents on both sides of the border. Although the house is listed as being in Baldwin, Rockville Centre had a say in the plan because part of the property is in the village.
That plan, though, may not come to fruition anytime soon. The county planning commission on Oct. 18 approved an extension of time for a final map of the subdivision to be submitted and approved.
Earlier this year, though, the house was put on the market for $760,000, according to realtor.com, almost $300,000 more than it was bought for three years ago. It was no longer listed on real estate websites at deadline, however.
Eisman said he will continue to try to get the conditions at the home improved. He said he’s discussed the issue with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a Baldwin resident, and has written letters to Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, a Baldwin native who now lives in Rockville Centre, and Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.
Although the house may have the appearance of a zombie home, it is not technically one as the owner is not behind on mortgage payments. However, property owners are still required to maintain homes and properties. Town of Hempstead laws stated lawns, weeds and brush of any kind cannot be in excess of eight inches high and that garbage may not accumulate in one’s yard.
Those in violation of the law may be fined up to $500. The town, according to its laws, may have workers cut a vacant property’s lawns and remove garbage and charge a property owner for the work. If the owner does not pay for the work, the town can apply the charges to their next tax bill.
Additionally, the Sanitation Department could file a sworn statement with the Town Clerk’s Office showing the cost incurred from a cleanup, which would count as a lien on the property until paid off by the owner. The town and Village of Rockville Centre also state property owners who do not keep sidewalks clean could face some penalties.