Manorhaven raises rental fees for absentee landlords

Manorhaven raises rental fees for absentee landlords
Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena is being challenged in the village election this year by Vincent Costa. (Photo courtesy of Mayor Jim Avena)

The Manorhaven Board of Trustees decided to increase the rental registration fee for the first time in 11 years, and not everyone was happy about it.

“While this does not have an effect on the general public of Manorhaven, it has a particularly onerous effect on my family and myself personally,” said Ames Ressa, who owns several residential properties in the village. “I feel slighted that I wasn’t consulted on this.”

The village increased the fee by $100 to $350 for properties in which the owner does not reside.

Mayor Jim Avena said that the services provided by the village staff have increased since the last time fees were raised because with more people in the village, there was a need for more police, garbage pickup, and code enforcement. This in turn has increased costs.

The permit fee for the record owner is only $50 if that owner resides in one of the dwelling units. It is $25 if the owner resides in one of the dwelling units and is also a military veteran or over the age of 65.

Ressa said this was discriminatory.

“In this case, the burden is being placed on a very small group,” he said.

His sentiment was echoed by another property owner in Manorhaven, Oskar Cibants.

“You’re discriminating against us, we’re like second-class citizens,” he said. “You’ve got money coming in here that you don’t know where to put it.”

Avena disputed the claim.

“That comment is so totally wrong,” he said. “If people don’t like building here, they should build somewhere else, because we’re more than fair.”

Ressa asked for the meeting to be tabled, but the board denied his request. The fee increase was approved unanimously.

On Friday, Ressa said he was not sure if he would pursue legal action against the village.

Earlier in the meeting, the board passed three laws without any pushback from the residents in attendance.

Local Law 10 will add stops signs on Cambridge Avenue at the Inwood Road, Kirkwood Road and Linwood Road North intersections, along with Sagamore Hill Drive’s intersection with Nesaquake Avenue.

Local Law 11 designated reserved handicap parking spaces on Juniper Road.

Local Law 12 instituted a noise ordinance in the village, which the board had been working on throughout the summer. Under the law, time limits would be set on “unreasonable noise,” which was defined as any excessive or unusually loud sound that annoys, disturbs or endangers the comfort, health, peace or safety of a reasonable person.

“What this local law does, in part, is create a working definition of unreasonable noise,” said village attorney Jonathan Fielding.

The law also prohibits the use of gas- or internal combustion engine-powered landscaping equipment after 7:30 p.m. and before 8 a.m. on weekdays and after 7:30 p.m. and before 9:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays.

Prohibited hours for commercial landscapers are even longer; the equipment can only be used between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, with commercial use completely banned on Sundays and legal holidays.

All three laws passed unanimously.

There was also some shuffling of the village zoning board, as member Dan Renna had to resign after he moved out of Manorhaven. He was replaced by John Di Leo. Dominick Masiello was also added to the village planning board.

At the village’s next meeting on Sept. 27, the Board of Trustees will consider laws regarding parking rules in snow emergencies, traffic fines, and the installation of cell nodes on phone poles.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance

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