- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—The Patchogue Village board of trustees on Monday night postponed a public hearing to discuss knocking down an abandoned home on River Avenue after the property owners’ attorney asked for a delay.

The board is to take up the issue again on Sept. 14.

The home is in foreclosure, but the property owners plan to transfer the title to Bank of America, which intends to demolish it, village attorney Brian Egan said of his conversation with the owners’ attorney, Larry Davis of Patchogue.

Patchogue has already taken steps to demolish two houses on River Avenue that have been empty for years and deemed hazardous.

One of those houses is owned by U.S. Bank National Association and has been vacant for years, village officials have said. A village inspector said the dilapidated house has extensive damage and is considered unsafe. Officials said rebuilding it would exceed the value of the structure.

The other River Avenue house, which has been vacant for more than a decade, has been vandalized and is in danger of collapsing, village officials said.

Board members plan another public hearing later this summer about potentially tearing down an unsafe home on Maple Avenue. That house is one of the zombie houses that are in the foreclosure process, but have been abandoned.

A yearlong investigation by Newsday and News 12 found that Long Island municipalities spent more than $3.2 million last year to clean up, board up or demolish zombie homes.

The investigation found zombie houses have cost Long Island homeowners $295 million in depreciated home values.

Long Island leads the state in the number of zombie homes, with almost 4,300 as of last month, according to RealtyTrac, a California firm that compiles real estate data.

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