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Vacant, Boarded Up 'Eyesore' Angers Shrub Oak Resident

A graffiti-covered building at 1378 E. Main St. in Shrub Oak has not had a tenant in years.
A graffiti-covered building at 1378 E. Main St. in Shrub Oak has not had a tenant in years. Photo Credit: Brian Marschhauser

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A boarded up, graffiti-covered building at 1378 E. Main St. that's been vacant for years has one Shrub Oak resident asking the town take action.

“It’s boarded up with plywood where big sheets of glass have been broken, way before the storm. It’s filled with graffiti,” Angelo Frangella said. “This building is an eyesore, and it’s not fair to the people in the community that work hard to maintain their houses to have this representing their town.”

Located across from the A&P shopping center, the building has not had a tenant since Undercare, a tire dealer, left the hamlet about three years ago, Frangella said.

Supervisor Michael Grace agreed with Frangella, but said the town is limited in what it can do.

“This always becomes a problem as to how much the town can do in terms of directing private property owners to do something with their property, especially in appearances,” Grace said.

The town has safe structure and property appearance laws on the books, but they can only be enforced to the minimum requirements.

“So long as the structure is safe and not deemed unsafe, then there’s nothing more that we can do,” Grace said. “It’s a constitutional prohibition.”

Grace said constitutional laws also limit what the town can do in terms of removing graffiti.

“We saw the graffiti with the building inspector, and to regulate that there’s free speech issues, believe it or not,” he said.

Grace said the best, and essentially only, thing the town can do is to give the owner an incentive to redevelop the property.

“It is on our radar screen. It has been on our radar screen,” he said. “We’ll do everything we possibly can to make sure it goes away.”

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