A West Seneca builder may have left several home buyers hanging with incomplete homes and refused to return, but that didn't stop him from selling another home in the neighborhood.
Residents of a newly constructed subdivision on Meadow Drive recently approached the Town Board to complain and to see about removing piles of construction debris and fill left in their neighborhood by builder Christopher L. Emond and his CRE Construction company.
But even though Emond had told residents earlier this year, through his lawyer, that he had no plans to do any more work in the neighborhood, and his leftovers have the town threatening to use its new clean-it-up-and-bill-'em law, the developer sold one last home in the neighborhood on Sept. 7, selling the model home in the development for $178,500.
Emond did it through a new corporation, Distinctive Homes, which he incorporated on April 24, transferring five Meadow Drive lots to it for $1. Mortgaged debts of $381,048 were also transferred.
Emond and CRE are also involved in legal proceedings with Dennis Kazmierczak and Kazmierczak Funeral Home. Kazmierczak says Emond took nearly all of the money but never finished work on a funeral home he was building for him, forcing Kazmierczak to pay others to finish the job.
Emond didn't answer telephone calls to his business, and his lawyer, Michael Denz, declined to comment, but Meadow Drive residents had plenty to say to the Town Board last week.
"He left us with six lots of fill," said Donna Gross. "We just have debris and construction debris, and little kids can't help playing in there. One exceptionally large one, our children have to go out into street to get around it."
Among the debris are two culverts, 6 feet long and 4 feet wide, which hold standing water. Resident Dawn Kittell said children routinely bring in pieces of glass they've found in the piles.
Gross also accused Emond of claiming escrow money set aside for work that wasn't completed.
"It was all little stuff," she said, "but when you pay $200,000 for a house, you expect to have it finished."
West Seneca Building Inspector William Czuprynski said he told Emond to clean up some of the mess last spring but said residents hadn't told him it wasn't done.
Directed by the Town Board to take another look this week, Czuprynski said Thursday that he had written to the developer, telling him to remove the fill.
"I issued a letter to him giving him 14 days to clean up the property," Czuprynski said. "If he doesn't do it within 14 days, I'll issue a summons or have the town go in and do it."
That's what Councilman Vince Graber Jr. is advocating. The town last month approved an ordinance that allows it to clean up sites if the owners refuse to and then to add the costs to the tax bill for the property.
"What these people are concerned about is that they can't even see their children by looking out the window because there's about a 20-foot high pile of garbage," Graber said. "That's what we passed the law for, to use as a weapon against those people who come into town and not do what they're supposed to be doing."