What's next, a law that mandates you wash your car?

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Massapequa Park Passes Stunning — And Potentially Expensive — New Law On Property Upkeep

CBS New York:  Thousands of dollars in fines? Even jail time? They’re taking home maintenance seriously in one Long Island village.  Make no mistake, a messy lawn can cost you in Massapequa Park.
As CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan surmised on Tuesday, at least one homeowner on Merrick Road is in hot water. Effective immediately he faces stiff fines and even jail time for failure to maintain his property.
This is a quality of life issue, yes. The place is filthy. I’m paying taxes. I have to look at their lawn and garbage. If I complain they laugh in my face, and I’ve been living here 23 years,” neighbor Sophie Wolchok said.
Wolchok came armed to Village Hall with photo proof. Sick and tired of blight and garbage, she was among those testifying before the mayor and village board, seeking relief from foreclosed homes, dead trees, vermin, and swimming pools half filled with water, which poses a danger to children of her community, and attracts mosquitoes that carry the deadly West Nile virus.
We are instituting a stiff fine that has escalating clauses to be punitive because we want banks and landowners to pay attention to their properties and maintain their properties like the rest of our community,” Mayor James Altadonna, Jr. said.
The vote was unanimous. If your lawns aren’t mowed, if dumpsters are full, gutters are broken, shopping carts are unattended, windows and doors are boarded banks or homeowners face: $250-$1,000 fine for the first offense, $2,500 plus up to 10 days in jail for the second and $10,000 and 15 jail days for the third.
Some complained the new laws are downright unfriendly.  “If you have a neighbor that has a lawn or whatever that doesn’t look right, you say, ‘can I help you with it?’” Lauren Della Greca said.  “I take care of my own lawn myself and it takes a good two and half hours, so if I was elderly, that could be an issue,” homeowner Joseph Anderson added.
A resident told WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs he thinks there has to be a better, more neighborly way.  “I think this is a type of place, I live here because people help each other out, not because they report each other,” he said. “If it’s an elderly couple that’s having problems maintaining their property, I think we should help them out. I don’t think we should fine them $1,000.”
The mayor said the fines are not directed at those going through tough times. He said they will work with any families who can’t afford upkeep.  Excessive litter, junk vehicles, broken lighting, unfinished construction and graffiti are all subject to fines as well, the mayor said.
What’s next, a fine if you don’t wash your car and it looks filthy sitting in your driveway?
This is the problem with people like Sophie Wolchok  – believing that solutions to neighborhood problems will come from government.  For Pete’s Sake, go speak with a neighbor if you don’t like what they are doing (even if it is their private property).  Work with other neighbors to help each other out. 
Careful what you ask for Sophie — you never know when a neighbor might believe YOU and the way you choose to live becomes a danger to the children of your community.

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0 responses to “What's next, a law that mandates you wash your car?

  1. more Communist=Agenda 21 crap. Thanks to GHW Bush, Al Gore, Clintons and Co. I hope these people run these commies out of town.,

  2. But… I think that banks that foreclose on a house and then do not keep it up should be held responsible. $$ talks when it comes to the banks. Also, this lady did approach her neighbors as it states in the article. They just laughed in her face. What was she to do? I don’t think they are being unreasonable. It does say they would work with people who couldn’t afford the upkeep.

    • Many foreclosures aren’t owned by banks. They are owned by govt – FM2. Those GSEs don’t care one iota about your concerns of the property’s status. Heck, they don’t even care about making money.
      I get we don’t want ugly neighbors bringing our property values down. Yet how far do you want to go to regulate personal behaviors on private property? $10,000 fine not unreasonable for a fine of your definition of a hazard? Slippery slope. One that libs would love to control.

  3. Taxachussetts has a city that will now fine you if you swear (the vote won today, btw), Long Island will punish with serious fines and jail!!! for trashy yards. JAIL!?? Drones fly overhead collecting information and aiding big brother. Apple cell phones send your whereabouts back to Apple every so often….cookies tell my web browser what my shopping interests are.
    Isn’t there a reset button, a restore, like your computer will do when you add some bad software that freezes it up, and you go back to a time before everything went to hell? They say they’ll work with people. That’s an absolute load of crap meant to take the heat off the ruling now while it’s new and at least some people are aware of the implications. When people are used to it, old people, or people who are having financial issues are going to do time or be fined beyond their means for this stupid, stupid law.
    Every day there’s a dozen new reasons why I want that spaceship and directions to a new planet…..

    • The profanity ban passed? Good grief…all these “regulations” make me want to hurl. Now Bloomberg wants to limit the size of popcorn buckets at movies too. We are fast approaching a society where no one can think for themself or have any personal responsibility for anything they do without the government controlling your behaviors.

  4. It takes a village…but if the property is abandoned by owners
    and/or the bank then there’s little recourse. That said, I live in the
    country where my line of ‘parts’ is mostly hidden unless you
    break your neck a snoopin’ and I try to cut down the worst of the
    grass once or twice a year.It takes a week to just trim it back from
    the house for a fire and tic and mosquito buffer. My nearest
    neighbor is 3/4 mile away …it’s a bit crowded but we get along.


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