The Town of Brookhaven's Quality of Life Task Force announced Wednesday it has worked with two homeowners to quickly bring another illegal rooming house in Setauket back within town code as a single-family home.
"Illegal, overcrowded rental housing is a detriment to the quality of life in many neighborhoods, and fortunately in this case, we had an owner who did the right thing for the community," Brookhaven town supervisor Ed Romaine said in a statement.
Town inspectors arrived at 82 Krispin Ln., a two-story colonial on the end of a cul-de-sac, to find nine college students living in seven bedrooms with individual key locks. Additionally, they found that the entire front yard of the house had been paved over for parking for multiple cars.
In the Town’s ongoing fight against illegal overcrowded rental housing, the town recently passed a measure that redefined the word "family" within the town code, and placed the burden of proof of those family relationships on the homeowner.
“It initially appeared that the property owners were in violation of the Town’s definition of ‘family,'" Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld said. "Thanks to the new law, we were able to prove that the residents living inside the house were indeed not the equivalent of a traditional family. This was clearly an illegal rooming house and we certainly weren’t going to allow it to continue as such."
In November, Law Department officials served the homeowners with five appearance tickets, including two misdemeanors. According to the town, the homeowners then contacted town officials to pledge their full compliance with town codes. According to the town, when the semester ended the students moved out of the house so a contractor could come and restore the house to its previous configuration. In January, Law Department inspectors confirmed the homeowners were again in compliance with single-family codes.
After the case was resolved, neighbors along Krispin Lane were relieved to know they wouldn't see many strange cars frequently speeding down the block, which is home to several families with young children.
"I really hope they keep it this way, get a nice tenant in there, and keep the property up," said Sue French, a resident since 1986, who also said she thought "the town did a great job getting it done."
The homeowners do have an active rental permit for the home. They have listed it on Craigslist as a four-bedroom home available for $2,600 per month, not including utilities. The homeowners declined to comment for this story.
“Thanks to the quick work of our Law Department, the stalwart diligence of the residents on Krispin [Lane] and the willingness of the landlord to comply with our Town Code, we have been able to turn a bad situation into something good,” Fiore-Rosenfeld said.