Brooklyn broker Jason Moskowitz has finally filed his deed of ownership for the Dragon Inn with Ulster County, according to Eyal Saad, village code enforcement officer. And in making his ownership of the fire-gutted building official, Moskowitz has been awarded a reminder from Saad that if he wants to do any work on the building he must first get approval from the village Historic Review Board (HRB), which has purview over historic sites in the village.
Saad’s reminder was in the form of a violation letter citing the need for HRB approval, and telling Moskowitz that work he did several months ago on the building was in violation of village law. The former home of Saugerties industrialist William Sheffield, who called him mansion Clovelea, the structure was more recently a Chinese restaurant. Moskowitz had workers begin to tear down an addition that was built by former owner Chang Ya Wu.
Saad has asked village trustees for direction as to what he should now do about the violation notices. Saad has said he can move forward, if so directed by trustees, and take Moskowitz to court on the violations, which included removing a stockade fence that was put up around the building to keep vandals out, and having an addition partially demolished without HRB approval.
If the matter goes before the village justice court, Moskowitz may face fines. But trustees indicate they would rather see him go to the HRB with plans for the building, and get approval before more work is done.
Moskowitz also received a notice of violation from the state Department of Labor, citing him for having the demolition work done, without a state approved asbestos abatement plan in place. The Department of Labor is involved because it looks after the protection of the workers who did the demolition without the asbestos first being removed, causing a health risk to them.
Moskowitz purchased the building last year but at that time did not file the deed to the property. Saad said that since that time the deed has been filed and all back village, county and school taxes paid.
The new owner caused a kerfuffle in the village last year when he wrote a letter to the editor of Saugerties Times complaining that they told him that it was up to him to get rid of vagrants after he asked village and police to clear the ones who had made the burned-out wreck their home.
Since no deed had at the time been filed, Saad and the police were unsure whether Moskowitz was indeed the owner. The vagrants eventually moved on.
In previous conversations, Moskowitz has said that he would like to get the structure removed and that he wants to replace it with a boutique hotel or bed-and-breakfast. He did not return calls asking whether these plans are still in place. HRB officials have said that he has yet to ask for a meeting with them.