Sunday, June 21, 2009
Illegal conversions a problem in Great Neck
Dozens of Great Neck residents, frustrated and frightened by conditions that they say stem from illegal housing in their neighborhood, are asking for help from village officials and Nassau police.
Village Mayor Ralph Kreitzman and Capt. Sean McCarthy of Nassau's Sixth Precinct told more than 50 Steamboat Road residents at a meeting last week that they're aware of issues such as drug use and illegal housing in the area, but added it will take time for the problems to be addressed.
One resident, Dee Campbell, spoke of a three-block area between George Street and Potters Lane where she said dozens of men usually stand in groups in front of a deli during the day and disrupt the community by drinking alcohol and urinating in public, selling and using drugs, and harassing girls and women.
"I'm concerned mainly for the safety of the kids," said Campbell, who has four school-aged children. "They're afraid and I'm afraid."
Campbell's son, Sean, 11, told the mayor that the loitering men keep him from walking alone to the deli.
Many residents pointed to housing in the neighborhood as the source of the trouble. One house, they said, is occupied by more than 20 people who fill the structure, from the basement to the attic.