NYS Supreme Court Rules Hen Island Health Codes Enforcable by City of Rye

JOURNAL NEWS – By Andrew Klappholz

January 28, 2011

RYE — A state Supreme Court justice has thrown out a petition seeking to make the city enforce health codes on Hen Island, but the ruling has both sides declaring victory.

The city had claimed that enforcement is solely the county’s responsibility, and therefore the municipality doesn’t have to do anything. Instead, Judge Barbara Zambelli found that the city had the authority to enforce the health codes, but that it was up to the discretion of municipal officials, and the municipality couldn’t be forced to do anything.

Mayor Douglas French said the decision is a validation of the city’s position. “Westchester County government has long served as the city’s health and environmental agency as they do for many local municipalities,” the mayor said. “The ruling affirms the city’s position that these matters be handled by the respective county department.”

Raymond Tartaglione, who brought the application to court with the group HealTheHarbor.com, said he was pleased with the findings because it acknowledged that the city does have the authority to enforce health codes if it wishes. His lawyer, Jordan Glass, said the city should exercise this newfound authority “for the benefit of its residents and visitors.”

Tartaglione, a resident of Purchase who has a cottage on Hen Island , has claimed for years that some summer residents allow sewage to seep into Long Island Sound and garbage to collect along the beach.

He has taken extreme measures to bring attention to his claims of health and environmental hazards around the summer cottages, including bringing an 8-foot-tall human waste mascot named “Mr. Floatie” to City Council meetings and driving around the “Floatie Mobile,” a 1938 Chevy outfitted with “Floatie” decals.

Tartaglione hasn’t taken these steps since the summer, but he attended Wednesday’s Council meeting and asked what the city’s response would be to the decision.

French said the board would have to review it with counsel.

Click Here to view the Court’s decision.


Post Navigation