4 more violations issued to Baxter House owner

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The Village of Baxter Estates issued four more Order to Remedy violations last week to the owner of the historic Baxter House as village officials await the owner’s revised plans for the home, which was heavily damaged in a fire on Feb. 5.

The violations, issued on Feb. 27, order the home’s owner, Sabrina Wu, to remove blue tarp remnants from her property and surrounding homes, remove the tarp from the house, remove garbage bags from the yards and remove fire debris from the property, according to Trustee Chris Ficalora.

Wu’s lawyer, A. Thomas Levin, said at the village’s Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting on March 1 that Wu would submit a revised plan in “several days,” but the village has not received plans over a week later.

Wu withdrew her original application to demolish and rebuild a replica of the home days before the fire, and was planning to revise her plans and renovate the home.

“He is very apologetic that an application has not been submitted,” Ficalora said speaking of Levin. “He has been working with Wu to put something together that gets the process back on track. I do not believe it was for show, that is not his style.”

The home’s exterior was landmarked in 2005 — a decision Wu opposed.

Residents have complained at board meetings for months about the blue tarpeing own their properties.

The tarp was used to cover the home’s windows.

Ficalora said he asked Levin in February if Wu would remove garbage bags from the property, but Levin refused.

“He said ‘there’s no OTR saying we have to remove the garbage,’” Ficalora said.

Wu was previously issued three violations but the village will vacate them because they pertained to the maintenance of the house, Ficalora said.

The home, at 15 Shore Road, was built in the 1700s and once stood on the Baxter Homestead, which dates back to 1673. Wu purchased the house in 2003 for $990,000.

Wu allowed village trustees, the village building inspector and an independent engineer hired by the village to inspect the home last Wednesday, along with her architect.

The reports concluded that the house is structurally unsound and should be demolished.

At the March 2 Board of Trustee meeting, residents discussed crowdfunding for the home — an idea raised once before — but village officials could not offer details or answer questions because officials cannot socialite donations.

Over 250 people attended the Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting on March 1, offering the commission suggestions for the home, showing their support for it and condemning Wu for not preserving it.

The village sent a survey to residents last month, asking if they would support the village purchasing the Baxter House with a five-year bond if residents’ taxes included an additional total of $6,270 spread over five years, and then $740 per year for fixing and maintaining the home.

1 COMMENT

  1. If this isnt a con job in the making I dont know what is. Just keep the Village dancing off kilter until the foreclose on the property. Are the taxes up to date on that dump?

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