Neighbors, businesses complain of vacant Coram lot

Businesses owners say they have pleaded with the state, which owns the land, to maintain the lot.

Businesses owners say they have pleaded with the state, which owns the land, to maintain the lot. (7/10/15)

CORAM - Neighbors say an abandoned lot in Coram has become an unseemly, unhealthy and unsafe nuisance.

The lot sits between a Home Depot and a Capital One Bank. People, who appear to be homeless, have taken up residence in the lot.

"You can see on the perimeter, it's littered ... there's all kinds of paraphernalia just on the edges," says Lilli Wong, who manages property near the site. "You don't even have to go into the woods."

Wong says she's contacted New York state officials about the state-owned property.

"I've tried in vain for the past seven years to get the Department of Transportation to maintain and it's gone nowhere," she says.

Wong says the space is driving away her potential tenants, and surrounding businesses say people seen living or hanging out in the space are driving away customers. Residents also fear for their safety near the area.

"It's terrible," says David Cion, of Coram. "I can't have my niece walk here safely.  Another girl I heard was walking down and someone jumped out and tried to grab at her."

The state Transportation Department issued a statement saying it's working with Suffolk police and Suffolk Social Services to find a solution.

Civic leaders tell News 12 Long Island that they'd like the state to address the larger problem of homelessness in Coram and across Long Island by setting up programs and services.

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