Lake Success officials in the dark over darkened houses

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Lake Success Village Hall on a breezy spring evening. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Lake Success officials raised concerns about dark homes on Monday night, following calls and letters from residents.

Trustees said there currently is a law that says a house’s address number must be lit, lawns must be cut, and owners have to make a home essentially “look like it’s there.”

But there have been a handful of cases where properties, while generally in good shape, seem vacated by people who have bought the homes or residents who have gone south for the winter.

“It’s kind of disconcerting, when you walk down the neighborhood or drive around the neighborhood, how many dark houses there are,” Mayor Adam Hoffman said at the meeting.

Peter Mineo, the village attorney, said trustees have not asked him to draft any legislation regarding the matter. So far people have not presented the darkened homes as a safety issue, he said, but it’s possible trustees could make an argument for legislation in the future.

“You could probably justify a requirement that there be certain lights, especially for those homes that are unoccupied,” Mineo said, noting that a review of the village code will be needed.

The scale of the issue is also unclear at this time, Mineo added.

“It’s hard to get a grasp on how many houses are unoccupied all year around or some that are just seasonal,” he said.

In unrelated business, village officials approved a review of a proposed helipad at Northwell Cohen Children’s Medical Center at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and clarified that children under 14 and personal trainers are not allowed in the village’s fitness center.

Trustees also set the base salary for lifeguards at the village pool at $12.25 per hour, with a 50-cent-per-hour bonus for returning lifeguards, and an $11 hourly wage for gate guards.

This was done to “try and line incentives up with the demand,” Trustee Alan Mindel said.

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