WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A building in disrepair in a Saratoga County town has now become even more of an eye sore.
Officials said the owner of 89 Vanderwerken Ave. wanted to turn the building into luxury apartments, but when that plan didn’t work, things took a turn for the worse.
The property was already surrounded with an overgrown lawn, broken fence and bent flagpole. But on Friday night, neighbors said the owner painted it pink.
“Downgrading the community here,” neighbor Kathleen Smith said. “It’s really bad.”
The county treasurer confirmed Scott Derry bought the property in 2012. Town officials said he originally wanted to turn the former adult living center into luxury apartments. But neighbors like Ellen Premo were against it.
“There’s no parking,” she said. “We didn’t know what to expect.”
Derry dropped his plan, but after that, Premo said he let the building fall into further disrepair.
“He said to us, ‘I’ll make that place your worst nightmare,’” Premo said.
Town Supervisor Jack Lawler said the property has been vacant since Derry purchased it.
“I don’t have any idea what he’s been doing with it,” Lawler said. “The property has been vacant. I think anybody that’s been looking at it can tell it’s been neglected.”
Lawler said Derry never paid property taxes, and he owes more than $40,000. Lawler also admits there is not much he can do currently.
“It’s private property, and as difficult as it is for the neighbors, I readily admit it’s very difficult and unfair to them,” he said. “But as difficult as it is, our options to enforce the rules and laws are private property are somewhat limited.”
Lawler said Derry received a summons last week for failing to properly maintain his lawn, a zoning violation.
“Unfortunately, there’s not much that the town can do from an enforcement perspective,” he said.
The county said if the property taxes aren’t paid in full by September, it will be foreclosed and put up for auction.
The town has scheduled a public meeting on the building for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at town hall.