From the Staten Island Advance:
The vacant lot at 381 Alter Ave. in Dongan Hills is a standout -- a swampy mess of murky, standing water. Homeowners on the otherwise meticulously maintained residential block are furious, and worried as mosquito season sets in.
The 50-by-81-foot lot, between Hylan Boulevard and Mason Avenue, is the former site of a one-family home, which the new owner demolished last year.
Mrs. Batiancela showed a reporter documentation of the three separate complaints that she called in to 311 operators. "They can't even tell me if an inspector has come by to look at the conditions," she noted with frustration.
Under the NYC Administrative Code, owners of vacant lots must keep them "clean, sanitary, and free of debris and litter," according to the Department of Sanitation's "Digest of Sanitation Codes," revised and published in September 2004. City law empowers the Department of Transportation (DOT) to order owners to "erect a fence around the lot and fill any sunken part of the lot and/or cut down any raised part of the lot. If the owner fails to comply the DOT may fence the lot, fill in the lot, or raise the lot at the owner's expense."
Mrs. Batiancela showed a reporter letters that City Council member James S. Oddo sent on June 22 to the Health and Sanitation departments about the problem.
She and her neighbors hope that this will attract attention from city authorities, and help may finally be on the way.