Town Cracks Down On Unlicensed Landscapers

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Homeowners may be liable for work-related injuries

Supervisor Joseph Saladino, at podium, announced the town’s crackdown on unlicensed and uninsured landscapers on May 30. He is surrounded by, from left, Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Elizabeth Maccarone, Deputy Commissioner Tim Zike, Public Safety Commissioner Justin McCaffrey (in back) and Nassau Suffolk Landscape Grounds Association President Evan Dackow. (Contributed Photo)

In addressing quality of life concerns expressed by local residents, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Councilman Louis Imbroto, Clerk James Altadonna Jr. and Nassau Suffolk Landscape Grounds Association President Evan Dackow recently announced an intensified enforcement initiative aimed at unlicensed and uninsured landscapers operating across local communities.

Through this new initiative spearheaded by the town’s Quality of Life Task Force, the departments of Planning and Development, Public Safety and Sanitation have partnered to issue notices of violation and summonses against illegal operations in the town.

In the past two weeks, the town has issued over 100 notices of violation and 11 criminal court appearance tickets. This initiative is aimed at protecting homeowners as the hiring of unlicensed and uninsured contractors can result in personal liability.

Saladino stated, “It’s easy to forget to ask if the person caring for your lawn is licensed and insured, but it’s even easier to forget how much liability can be created if they get hurt on the job while working at your home. Without a license and the proper insurance, you could suddenly be on the hook for injuries. We remind residents to always ask landscapers for up-to-date business licenses, worker’s compensation insurance and general liability insurance. The good ones will produce those items without question.”

There are many benefits to hiring a licensed landscaper, as the town protects resident’s interest by making sure the landscaper has a Nassau County license, all insurances necessary so the resident is not liable and that the vehicles used are properly registered with New York State. The town’s permitting process assures residents that the contractor is accountable. Residents can identify a town-licensed landscaper by the identification decal affixed to the driver’s side door of each vehicle and to the left rear bumper of any trailer used in the course of business. Contractors are also required to carry the license or a photocopy signed by the licensee at all times.

Imbroto stated, “The town, through our Quality of Life Task Force, has been working in partnership with residents to address areas of concern, such as illegal housing, non-maintenance of property, zombie homes and most recently, unlicensed landscapers. With these intensified efforts, the town seeks to protect our residents and make sure all businesses respect our town code and communities.”

“Hiring an uninsured and unlicensed landscaper could cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees if a worker is hurt on the job, and even more if you’re found liable for the injury. Protect yourself and help us crackdown on unlicensed and uninsured contractors by reporting them to code enforcement,” added Altadonna.

Officials are also enforcing town code provisions which limits landscapers’ ability to perform work during the following hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; with no work permitted on Sunday. Upon receiving notice of violation from the Town of Oyster Bay, responsible individuals may face court-imposed fines for each violation, and could ultimately face revocation or suspension of their license.

Residents can report unlicensed landscapers to the Town of Oyster Bay Department of Public Safety at 516-677-5350.

—Submitted by the Town of Oyster Bay

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