First Selectman to Target Blighted Properties in Byram

At Thursday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectmen Fred Camillo reported that he would be visiting blighted properties in Byram the following day with Planning & Zoning director Katie DeLuca and commission chair Margarita Alban.

“At least three properties along the river are falling apart and have open access, which causes a public safety issue,” said Camillo who previously lived a block away in Byram.

“We’ll go down there and do everything we can compel the property owners, not only fix the problem, but to knock them down. In one case it’s already falling down. It’s been that way since I lived down there. It’s time.”

Camillo said he’d also received complaints from residents about cars parked in the same spot for weeks and months. “We went down there and told the residents what to do if they see a car parked in a spot several days,” he said, adding that residents should call parking services.

He also said while he was in Byram responding to neighborhood feedback he had been informed from a boat owner that four youths were spray painting the buoy in the pocket park along the river.

Structure that is wide open on So Water Street along the Byram River was once a yacht brokerage. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Structure that is wide open on So Water Street along the Byram River. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

“It’s like the broken windows theory. If you see graffiti, we have to clean it up immediately,” he said adding that Parks & Rec were set to remedy the graffiti shortly.

“It’s demolition by neglect,” Camillo said on Friday afternoon on a walk along South Water Street where one pocket park had graffiti, one had an illegal fence erected across it and three structures appeared abandoned.

“We are going to see who the property owners are and contact them to see if they have plans. It’s unfair to the neighbors and people who pay their taxes to have to look at it year after year.”

“We will have compassion for hardship cases,but if they go on for years and years, the compassion goes away,” Camillo said, adding that when his property in Byram had a fire in 2013 he was instructed to board it up promptly.

Second pocket park along So Water Street at the Byram River has been cut in half by someone’s fence (at right). June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Graffiti on a decorative buoy in a pocket park along So Water Street where Parks & Rec maintains attractive gardens. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Gardens in a pocket park maintained by Parks & Rec along Byram River in Byram. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Picnic tables are a feature of this pocket park in Byram along the Byram River. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
View from South Water Street of the collapsed boardwalk behind Costco in Port Chester. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Pair of abandoned buildings on South Water Street. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Abandoned building on South Water Street. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Abandoned building on South Water Street. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Abandoned building on South Water Street. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Abandoned building on South Water Street. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Abandoned building on South Water Street. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Abandoned building on South Water Street. June 26, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

It was as recently as November 2019 that a house on Mead Ave was demolished after decades of complaints. Neighbors concerns stemmed back to the 1980s, before the town enacted its nuisance ordinance.

Remains of 46 Mead Avenue on Tuesday Nov 19, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

See also:

After Decades of Complaints, Blighted Byram House is Razed

Nov 19, 2019

Petition Circulates Asking Town to Act on Blighted Property in Byram

July 2019