FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2011
CONTACT: Ryan Horn
PHONE: (631) 702-2477
32 Charges Hit Northampton Home
Vehicles, Overcrowding, and Roaches Among Code Violations
Southampton Town officials executed a search warrant on a Northampton home this morning after an investigation of various state and local code violations.
Entering the premises at 9 Pine Court at 5:00am, code enforcement and police found 11 people living in the three bedroom house. The basement had been converted to a full apartment with a kitchen area and three additional bedrooms. The units were added without the proper permits and occupied against the provisions of the Town’s 2007 rental law.
Charges of overcrowding included two people in a main floor bedroom that measured 108 square feet, and another four individuals in a 112 square foot basement bedroom. The remaining four occupants had sleeping quarters in other parts of the home.
According to Chief Town Investigator David Betts, whose department has found prior transgressions at the site, the home was missing all eight of its required smoke detectors, and did not have a carbon monoxide detector. “The purpose of the code’s safety provisions is to prevent fires, alert occupants to a hazard, and facilitate easy evacuation.” Betts added that each basement bedroom had a ceiling height of only seven feet and none had a means of emergency egress. Hazardous electrical conditions cited included exposed wiring in the basement and kitchen, obstructed electrical panels, and extension cords used in place of permanent wiring.
Property maintenance issues outside the home were also added to the 32 charges written up this morning. For the third time this year, excessive vehicles were parked at the site, similar to prior notices of violation posted on February 16, and March 22. Numerous debris, including ladders, wood, and other materials were piled in the side yard. Weeds and grass in the lawn reached 10 inches and sections of the fence along the eastern property line were missing.
The owner, listed in town records as Julio Cruz, is due in court on unrelated criminal charges on June 12.
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