Lindenhurst Residents Will Pay Illegal Fees To Buy Their Own Backyard

The Village of Lindenhurst will force nearly 50 homeowners to buy a portion of their own backyard. That’s right. Residents will spend thousands of dollars to purchase land they thought they already owned.

A village-owned “paper road” known as Richards Lane runs through the backyards of homes on north side of Orchard Street and the south side of Palm Street.

Village officials knew this road could be a problem for residents and even issued notices to homeowners during the 1970s. Now Lindenhurst has decided to take action more than 40 years later.

The issue has flown under the radar for so long because the unpaved road is hidden beneath residents’ lawns. Many property owners forgot Richards Lane even existed until they tried to buy and sell property in the area and discovered the road on village tax maps.

Newsday reports that village officials are now asking residents to buy this land or clear it of personal belongings. Each backyard in the affected area overlaps Richards Lane by 12 ½ feet. Lindenhurst will charge residents $3 per square foot to purchase the property.

Ultimately, the cost to buy the space will depend on the length of each backyard. One resident interviewed by Newsday said he expects to pay $3,000 for the 12 ½-by-80-foot section of his yard. But that’s only the beginning.

Residents will also be hit with up to $700 in fees. Suffolk County charges a $300 fee for every “mortgage-related document.” Homeowners who combine their backyard with the paper road space will require new documentation.

In addition, the County charges $200 per lot for tax map verification. It is expected that each transaction will include two lots, for a total of $400. And that’s not even the worst part.

All of these fees are illegal. Suffolk is overcharging residents for the cost of these services to collect money for the County.

You can help end Suffolk County’s illegal fee grab by calling your legislator today. Visit our Action Alert to learn more about Suffolk County’s illegal fees.