Big Win for HSE Client in Zombie Property Case against Monroe County

A Harter Secrest & Emery team led by Edward F. Premo, II, served as counsel to the Town of Irondequoit in a successful challenge to a Monroe County directive. On November 3, 2017, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that  State law requires Monroe County to continue to guarantee unpaid maintenance, repair and demolition charges levied by towns against dilapidated and/or vacant properties (“zombie properties”). 

The Town of Irondequoit, along with the Town of Brighton, took issue when the County notified towns last year that it was changing its longstanding practice of guaranteeing collection of assessed but unpaid town charges for clean-up or demolition of some zombie properties. Harter Secrest & Emery collaborated with attorneys representing Brighton and brought an Article 78 proceeding asking the Court to order the County to continue to guarantee these charges as required by State law. The unpaid fees were substantial for the Town of Irondequoit which incurred more than $250,000 in property clean-up and demolition charges in 2016.

This victory will help protect town fiscal health, address the health, safety, and environmental issues inherent with zombie properties and lessen the impact of zombie properties on neighborhood property values.

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