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Orienta Residents in Mamaroneck Discuss Next Steps For Neighborhood Eyesores

The Orienta Point Association (OPA) convened for its annual meeting Monday night at the Hampshire Country Club (HCC) to discuss several problems plaguing the community.

Although wide avenues and waterfront properties are characteristic of the Orienta section of Mamaroneck, unsightly reminders of abandoned homes and cratered roads are not, at least according to residents.

Some of the neighborhood issues include an empty lot on Seney Avenue, an abandoned house at 611 Orienta Ave. and a road badly in need of repair after several hard winters.

“This is a topic that we should be toasting to. . . the good news is that cardboard box has been sold,” said OPA Vice President Andrew Spatz wryly, in reference to the sagging and abandoned house which sits on a corner of Orienta Avenue, in sharp contrast to the expensive homes surrounding it.

Mayor Norm Rosenblum, in an interview on WCBS 880 in June, referred to it as the “plywood house” and said it had recently been condemned.

According to Spatz, the property has been independently purchased by Harvey Ross, who has built several homes in Orienta Point, including one on Fairway Lane and another on Bleeker Avenue.

Additionally, the purchase price of the dilapidated structure “included all back taxes,” leaving the village off the hook for the lost revenue.

The next eyesore—an empty lot on Seney Avenue—is a product of a thwarted plan for expansion by a previous homeowner. 

Although the homeowner planned to build three houses on the plot of land—which was only zoned for two—the building permits have long expired, leaving the land looking like a “rainforest.”

“This is something that we must remain vigilant on; it was completely and utterly inexcusable the way it [the property] looked last summer,” Spatz said.

Spatz referenced the Village of Mamaroneck 10-2011 ordinance which was passed in response to such situations over the summer.

The ordinance addresses property maintenance as it pertains to empty lots.

“So even if an individual wants to wait on construction, there is going to be an attached obligation to maintain that property,” Spatz said.

OPA board member Clark Neuringer and Jane Herzog, president of the Cove Road Homeowners Association, addressed the audience on the status of Cove Road.

“The situation with Cove Road is a little bit more complex, a little bit more complicated and there are no quick fixes,” Neuringer said of the privately owned road in dire need of maintenance.

For decades, the Department of Public Works (DPW) had filled in the ubiquitous potholes that continually plague the street up until two years ago, when repairs suddenly ceased.

According to a DPW representative, the repairs were always made in anticipation of the annual VOM Turkey Trot race, which passed through the private locale. And when the race route changed a couple of years ago, the DPW ceased to receive requests for maintenance of the road.

“We were not told that this was going to happen, they just stopped [repairs] and the road consequently has deteriorated,” Herzog said.

She described the status of Cove Road as “dangerous” having “pot-holes that have turned into craters” and further emphasized the flooding problems presently occurring in the area due to a lack of proper storm drain maintenance.

The road is often used a shortcut for parents dropping their children off at . Since the road is privately owned, the village is not required to maintain it despite having done so in the past. 

, Herzog indicated the damage estimates to Cove Road to be in the ballpark of “a couple of hundred thousand dollars.” These damages were incurred by harsh winter weather conditions and several large rainstorms.

Herzog described the three-day closing of Cove Road by residents several weeks ago as a “statement to the village,” whom they plan to continue to try to work with.

“So, we are now at a point where we would like to keep the road open, at least for the time being,” Herzog said.

She explained that the purpose of the closure was not to inconvenience anybody in Orienta Point, but rather to assert themselves with the VOM and ask for their support.

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