GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 24, 2013

Sandy Bay Estates facing fines over safety

By James Niedzinski
Staff Writer

---- — ROCKPORT — The Needham-based company that owns the Sandy Bay Estates apartment complex on Sandy Bay Terrace, could face fines already totaling up to $2,500 if it does not address lighting and safety issues that prompted at least one resident’s formal complaint filed with the town.

The town’s Board of Health issued a letter to Steven Glick of Sandy Bay Acquisitions, on April 9, citing a complaint from a Sandy Bay Estates resident who raised concern about the lack of exterior lighting on the property.

The company was ordered to begin the necessary repairs to the building by April 10, as it was deemed as dangerous for public health or safety, according to the letter.

”The resident stated that most of the exterior lights are not working,” the letter reads.

According to the letter, the company had the right to request a hearing before the Board of Health by April 16, and missed the April 18 deadline by which it was required to prove that it had repaired the lights or at least begun the process of fixing the problem.

Sandy Bay Acquisitions could face fines from $10 to $500 a day for failing to respond to the order. As of yesterday, those fines could have accumulated up to $500.

”The Board of Health may pursue options to enact those fines,” said Health Agent Leslie Whelan, who also wrote the letter. One of those options, she said, could involve taking the company to court.

Whelan said Tuesday she did get in touch with a representative from Paragon Residential Properties, which she believes to be Sandy Bay Acquisition’s management company, explaining the process and recognizing work the company has done to the property, but the lights are still out.

Representatives of neither Sandy Bay Acquisitions LLC nor Paragon Residential Properties LLC could be reached on comment for the story.

Rockport’s assessing records show the seven building apartment complex is valued at $5,698,700 and was purchased by Sandy Bay Acquisitions in 2007 before that it was owned by Sandy Bay LLC since 1997.

According to filings with the Secretary of State, Sandy Bay Acquisitions was ordered by the Secretary of State to involuntary dissolve in 2011. The documents list Marvin Glick as the manager of Sandy Bay Acquisitions and Sandy Bay LLC.

The Board of Health also contacted Rockport police Sgt. Robert Tibert, who also said many of the lights are no longer working and some areas around the building are “in complete darkness,” according to the letter.

Tibert said Thursday about 15 post and walkway lights are out, as well as security lights at the end of some of the buildings, he walked through the property a few days after being contacted by the Board of Health, he said.

Tibert tried to contact a representative from the company directly, leaving a message about the light problem, but has not heard back yet, he said.

He also brought the issue up with a Sandy Bay Estates maintenance employee.

”It’s unsafe,” he said of the lights, noting there are elderly residents in the complex.

The lighting issue poses a two-pronged safety problem. One is the walking safety of residents, and the fear they could stumble and fall in the dark. The other is that the complex has drawn somewhat regular police calls, including a report made Tuesday of a past larceny from Sandy Bay Estates. Police said the issue is under investigation.

Tibert said police have noted the lighting problem to the Rockport Housing Authority, as there are some residents who use it as public housing.

”With their (Board of Health and Rockport Housing Authority) help, we’re going to get something done,” he said.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.