City Island Civic Association seeks owner of vacant house and property

This property at 179 Banta Lane, also known as 179 Hawkins Street, on City Island, is a cause of concern for the local civic association, which has worked to get it sealed and cleaned.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

Most gardens are boasting colorfol displays of blooming flowers at this time of year, but not on City Island’s Banta Lane.

The City Island Civic Association is searching for the owner of 179 Banta Lane, also known as 179 Hawkins Street, after receiving complaints from neighbors about the vacant derelict structure and a variety of vehicles left to rot beneath the out-of-control, overgrown brush.

This property has been a point of contention for approximately four years, said board members of the organization.

The civic group had the lower level of the vacant home sealed up in 2011, and is now trying to locate the owner to discuss clearing weeds and debris, and removing the rusting vehicles from the premises, said John Doyle, CICA corresponding secretary.

The owner of the home, that is situated on a sleepy residential street, was sent a letter from the CICA to his last known address in Throggs Neck.

“As you may be aware, this property sits vacant, in poor condition and is currently being used as a dumping group for abandoned vehicles and construction equipment,” the letter stated. “As you can imagine, having a property within our community sit totally vacant sends a terrible message about the condition of our neighborhood.”

Citing a belief that an abandoned property can lend itself to “vandalism, vagrants and other troublesome conditions,” as well as a depreciation of the values of other nearby properties, the CICA asked the owner to meet with the organization’s leadership to discuss the matter.

Unfortunately, said Doyle, the letter was returned to the sender, but he believes that the owner may still be living nearby.

They are reaching out to the media with the hope that he sees the coverage and contacts the CICA. He can reach the organization at

There is garbage, as well as derelict vehicles at the location, and the top floor of the structure is wide open, said a City Islander with knowledge of the property.

“It is more than an eyesore,” said the resident, who did not wish to be identified. “It is really becoming a health hazard.”

The CICA president, Bill Stanton, said that when properties are not maintained, a meeting between the owner and the community group can help rectify the problem.

“It is obviously an eyesore,” he said of the location. “As president of the City Island Civic Association, I want City Island to be as idyllic as possible.”

The site had become an underage hangout before its lower level was sealed, said Doyle.

The Department of Buildings and Sanitation Department recently visited 179 Hawkins Street.

As of press time, there was an open DOB complaint regarding “several vehicles being stored on the side and rear yard the property.”

The corresponding secretary said he was hopeful that the Sanitation Department would soon clean up the location at the owner’s expense.

The owner is listed on DOB and Department of Finance documents as Dominick Mincieli.

Attempts to reach Mincieli before press time were unsuccessful.

UPDATE: It has come to our attention after press time that Dominick Mincieli is deceased and the owner of the property is Peter Mincieli.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Heavy equipment and rusting automobiles are being stored at 179 Banta Lane/179 Hawkins Street.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

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