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City Island Civic Association: King Avenue vacant house may be razed

Demolition permit issued on City Island property concerning some neighbors

Bronx Times
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A City Island eyesore will finally be razed by the owner.

Demolition permits were issued for 606 King Avenue, a house that the City Island Civic Association claims is in a severe state of disrepair.

The permit was filed with the NYC Department of Buildings for the waterfront house, on Tuesday, April 26, over a week after the CICA sent a letter to the agency urging approval of the order.

“Given the extent of the damage to the property, we would respectfully urge that a permit, if one is pending, should be approved,” stated the CICA correspondence dated April 15.

In June 2015, the civic group started to receive complaints from neighbors about the property, said Fred Ramftl, CICA vice-president.

“The house was in disrepair, strangers were going inside…it was an abandoned house, wide open,” said Ramftl. “The entire property was a mess and nothing was being done.”

The community association attempted to contact the homeowner, Edmund “Teddy” Prior, in 2015 but according to Ramftl, a letter mailed to the only known address at that time never received a reply.

Then, at a more recent CICA community meeting, Prior attended and explained his plans, said Ramftl.

A community association official visited the property in April and photographed the broken first-floor windows, a large hole in a door and inadequate fencing around the property, stated the CICA letter.

“(Neighbors) are concerned not only about the appearance of the property but also safety: the sidewalk, standing water, rodents and people going in and out of the house,” said Ramftl.

The location of the house, at the dead-end of King Avenue and Kirby Street, makes it especially vulnerable to potential trespassing, said John Doyle, CICA board member.

“Because that property sits toward the shared beach at the end of the block, it tends to lead to vagrancy and there is some evidence of people breaking in,” said Doyle.

Bill Stanton, CICA president, who has known the owner for over 40 years, since elementary school on the island and considers Prior one of the island’s success stories, stated he had sympathy for the owner’s, side of the matter.

“I am sure that he is looking to bring a resolution to this issue as expeditiously as the members of the civic are,” said Stanton, “to do anything to clear up misunderstanding, hard feelings, and not to mention, any dangerous hazards this unfinished property could bring.”

Prior declined to comment, but in a letter to his neighbors dated Sunday, April 3, provided by the CICA, he stated that he would demolish the exiting structure and construct a new home.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Updated 5:03 pm, July 9, 2018
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