Illuminating the ugly side of Southold

07/08/2010 12:00 AM |

Back in the early 1980s, The Suffolk Times began running a periodic feature called “Eyesore of the Week.” It consisted of a photograph (and brief caption) of a derelict building somewhere in Southold Town. The idea was to focus attention on the unsafe and unsightly buildings around town, and apparently it worked.
On Sept. 9, 1980, the Town Board amended the town code to address the problem of “unsafe buildings and premises.” The bottom line is that the town now has the ultimate power to raze such buildings at the owner’s expense if the owner doesn’t repair, rehabilitate, demolish or remove them in a timely fashion.
So far, so good. But what about unsightly buildings or properties that may not be strictly unsafe but nonetheless are significant eyesores, particularly in a tourism-based community that prides itself on historic and open space preservation?
Two such properties come immediately to mind. Both happen to be in Greenport, although neither lies within the incorporated village and thus both fall under the jurisdiction of Southold Town. One is across from Skipper’s Restaurant on the Main Road east of the village; the other is across from the Empire gas station on the Main Road/Front Street west of the village. Both are extremely unsightly and unkempt