New Hyde Park residents worry about Hillside Ave. danger

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New Hyde Park residents worry about Hillside Ave. danger
Building materials at 2024 Hillside Ave. (Photo by Taylor Herzlich)

New Hyde Park residents are worried about alleged safety hazards at 2024 Hillside Ave., a commercial property and former location of Heritage Indian Cuisine.

One resident brought up her concerns about the property at a Lakeville Estates Civic Meeting last Wednesday. She said the property, which is located next to the CVS Pharmacy at 2030 Hillside Ave., is being used to store dangerous building materials.

“Five o’clock in the morning, I hear the trucks, beep beep beep, making deliveries or taking things out,” the resident told Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena. “It’s not supposed to be there.”

The property has been a problem since last fall, when the owner was issued a cease-and- desist notice, according to the resident.

The former captain of the Garden City Park Fire Department, Tony Colon, supported the resident’s claims. Colon is an involved member of the community, having served as a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years and a fund-raiser for the Garden City Park Christmas tree lighting annually.

Colon said the owner of the property lied and falsely claimed he wanted to use the property to start a new restaurant prior to its purchase.

“This guy lives in Jamaica Estates,” said Colon. “He has a history of just doing whatever he wants. Everything’s illegal.”

The resident said that when padlocks have been put on the cyclone fence surrounding the property, the owner just clips the locks.

The resident, who said she has been living on Hillside Avenue for 46 years, claimed the building is condemned, with X’s on the walls, boarded-up windows, a missing door and rodents running around the property.

“Why isn’t the Sheriff’s Department there arresting anybody?” the resident asked DeSena. “They’re blatantly breaking the law and I’m paying good taxes for it.”

“It’s not just an eyesore,” said Colon, who called the property a safety hazard. “He has propane tanks in there, which are illegally stored. I can’t tell you how many illegal things are on this property.”

Colon also claimed there are metal beams on the property leaning against the CVS Pharmacy, which he worries might fall through the glass and injure or kill CVS employees.

Colon said the fire department had a meeting to try to get the fire marshal involved in getting these building materials moved, but to no avail.

“If that building goes on fire, it’s pretty much a surround and drown,” said Colon. “We [the fire department] are not going in it … the next thing that goes in there is gonna be a demolition crew.”

The resident said she has already spoken about the property with someone in DeSena’s office and the Sheriff’s Department.

Colon said the town has been scheduling court dates at which the property owner does not appear. Then the judge, instead of fining the property owner, adjourns court for a later date, according to Colon.

DeSena reminded town residents that there are legal procedures the town has to follow.

“That whole block is gonna blow up, with the United States Post Office right next to it!” said the resident. “And that’s when [the town will] do something. Something bad has to happen.”

“Well, hopefully not,” replied DeSena.

On Friday, piles of silver metal beams, a stack of red metal beams piled against the side wall of CVS Pharmacy, a yellow forklift, wooden planks and boarded-up windows were visible on the 2024 Hillside Ave. property.

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