Elevated lead levels in children led to inspection of overcrowded home in Rockland County

A health concern involving children led to inspection of what turned out to be an overcrowded, possibly illegally converted home in Rockland County.
Ed Markunas, the director of Rockland County’s Office of Buildings and Codes, told News 12 the Health Department first went to 60 South Madison Ave. in Spring Valley because school-aged children who live there were found to have high levels of lead.
Those inspectors observed the conditions in the home and then notified his office.
Markunas says a recent October inspection found the home to be overcrowded with about two dozen people living there. It also allegedly had illegally constructed rooms, plus work done without permits.
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The certificate of occupancy states it’s a single-family home with three bedrooms. The home is said to now have nine bedrooms.
"It's horrendous conditions to live within, as the occupant. It's a hazard to our first responders,” says Markunas.
The house was ordered to vacate by a state Supreme Court judge last week and must be returned to a single-family home.
Fines from violations total $16,750. The next court proceeding is scheduled for Nov. 27.
County reports show the home is owned by Joel Brull and managed by JCW management. Attorney Joseph Churgin, who is representing the landlord and property management group, says his clients were not aware of the situation at the home.
He added that the tenants broke the lease agreement by bringing in additional people and making changes.
The Office of Building and Codes will soon begin its administrative process with the property.