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Code Complaints: Open Flames, Illegal Apartments and More

A look at recent code complaints in Port Chester.

Here's a look at recent complaints filed with Port Chester's Department of Code Enforcement. Inspectors took complaints involving open flame frying, illegal basement and attic apartments, overcrowding and more. A full list of pending complaints can be found here.

  • At the Regent Gardens apartments, an open flame steel boiler was used by residents to fry food. A complaint was filed with code enforcement on Sept. 21. The case remains open.
  • Fire safety inspectors found illegal basement and attic apartments while inspecting a home at 138 Haseco Ave. A notice of violation was issued on Sept. 19, and the owner hadn't responded within 30 days. The case remains open.
  • A complaint alleges a two-family home on Highland Street houses as many as four families. The case remains open.
  • After receiving a notice of violation from code enforcement, the owner of an Exchange Place apartment took care of a bed bug infestation and conducted mandatory repairs to the apartment. The case was closed when inspectors confirmed the repairs were complete.
  • A second-floor apartment at 455 Willett Ave. is overcrowded, according to a complaint on Oct. 27. The case remains open.
  • Residents in a first-floor apartment at 429 Orchard St. are using their living room as an additional bedroom, according to a complaint lodged on Oct. 27. The case is pending.
  • An Armett St. resident is operating an auto repair shop out of his garage, according to an Oct. 27 report. The case remains open.
  • Tenants in a Westchester Avenue apartment filed a complaint about a lack of heat in the apartment. An inspector followed up and resolved the situation by calling the management company, advising them of their legal responsibility to provide heat. The case was closed after resolution.

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Cadeyrn November 16, 2011 at 11:16 AM
Okay, let's get a fifteen year old to ride around on his bike and count satellite dishes. Isn't that a simple-smart place to start?
JJ November 16, 2011 at 01:14 PM
Thank you for at least "TRYING" to fix Port Chester. Code Enforcement & the Building Department were ALWAYS a joke & disgrace in the past few years. This is ONE of the major reasons why Port Chester turned into this dumping ground. It's a great village and deserved better than the people who were employed there over the last 25 years. Thank you for the "NEW" efforts.
Silvio V. Buccieri November 16, 2011 at 01:22 PM
I want to thank Port Chester Patch for giveing us information on the status of the illegal dewelling,what took so long to this?? and yet nothing is being done! and we pay the the price for it. what is wrong Port Chester?
John B November 16, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Mr. Steers and departments, thank you and keep up he good work. It took decades to create this problem and I understand that you can not solve it over night.
JJ November 16, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Well said.............!
Interested Reader November 16, 2011 at 10:28 PM
Agreed, a thank you to all the employees in and out of code for the hard work and effort we needed so badly.
Rick November 17, 2011 at 02:29 AM
all we need now is for our Mayor to get on board.
Nik Bonopartis November 17, 2011 at 02:21 PM
Thanks. It's my understanding that the village has to carefully and methodically conduct inspections so it doesn't look like inspectors are targeting a specific neighborhood or group. Kind of absurd, but doing it otherwise would expose the village to lawsuits. I've also put in an inquiry with village hall for an update on the status of new code enforcement hires. The board approved a request for a larger staff, taking the department from 14 to 22 members, and I'd like to update readers on how many have been hired, how many are actual inspectors out in the field, etc. I will follow up on that and post something as soon as I receive the information.
Nik Bonopartis November 17, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Ever since readers teamed up with us on a few prominent eyesores in the village, I've been thinking of ways to keep that sort of cooperation going. Patch readers were instrumental in pushing village hall to get a dangerous building razed...and that's awesome. So I've considered starting a regular feature that would ask readers to identify eyesores, dangerous locations and possible overcrowding conditions. It would be a way to make complaints publicly, which may speed things along or put more weight behind the efforts. I do have a few concerns...I don't want to create a platform that can be used for retribution or to waste the efforts of a department with limited resources. Any thoughts? I'd appreciate reader feedback on this.
George Datino November 17, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Nik, What would be nice if you want to do something like this might be to provide some sort of summary of all the laws and rules around all the issues so the readers have an understanding of what is allowed and what isn't. For example, it is my understanding that the village has to follow very strict State laws when inspecting a property and they can't simply walk into houses. Certain situations on there own don't constitute a reason to inspect a house. I have been told that having multiple connections to a utility, or the number of mailboxes, or even satellite dishes on the roof constitue probable cause to inpsect a house. An explanation as to the differences between illegal apartments and overcrowding (having more people than allowed to live in an apartment). What are the basic laws that constitute an eyesore? Getting this information out might be a good first step so there is not a flood of responses back might help to give some guidelines.
Karrine November 17, 2011 at 05:00 PM
how do you file a complaint because weber drive has a lot more problems then whats on that list
Nik Bonopartis November 18, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Hi Karrine: Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. You can contact Code Enforcement directly by following this link...there are phone numbers for the department and an e-mail address for the clerk: http://www.portchesterny.com/Pages/PortChesterNY_CodeEnforcement/index What kind of problems have you noticed on Weber Drive?
Nik Bonopartis November 18, 2011 at 12:53 AM
Hey George: Those are all great ideas. Thanks for taking the time to post them. I agree, some basic information and background would go a long way toward helping the public understand code issues here in Port Chester. I'll start working up some posts and get answers to your questions. Thanks!
Karrine November 18, 2011 at 02:11 AM
There is trash in all the buildings and they have mice in the hallways as well as in a lot of apartments they have vacant apartments with mold in them and they to have overcrowding that goes unnoticed
George Datino November 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM
Correction, I have been told that having multiple connections to a utility, or the number of mailboxes, or even the # of satellite dishes on the roof DO NOT constitue probable cause to inpsect a house.
Silvio V. Buccieri November 18, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Can some one out there tell me that what is the right way to inspect a home? if you see many satellit Dishes out on the roof, it tells you something! and still we have over crowding? and we pay for it..good luck tax payers
Bart Didden November 18, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Karrine, Webber Drive is under the control of the Port Chester Housing Authority and you should be calling Mr. Colangelo. If that does now help you should be calling Mayor Pilla at 939-5200. The Mayor at his sole discretion appoints all the members of the Housing Board who oversees Mr. Colangelo. I have called upon Mayor Pilla to change out the members of that Board but he refuses because I too believe conditions can be better there. As a Trustee of the Village I have answered calls there, seen conditions that I don't approve of and called Mr. Colangelo to correct them, but more needs to be done. Call Mayor Pilla, tell him you want an environment fit for humans to live in! Not hallways with mice or mold. And why should there be vacant apartments?
Daniel W. Colangelo, Jr. November 18, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Karrine, Bart: Trash and debris is cleared from hallways and grounds on a daily basis by PC Housing staff. A licensed Pest Control Operator inspects every apartment and common areas on a monthly basis. Service and treatment is done immediately if an infestation is detected. Currently there are 3 apartments vacant. One each in Weber, 45 Traverse, and 70 Purdy. These three apartments are being repaired and painted for new tenants already signed up for occupancy. Please feel free to contact the Housing office directly with any questions or concerns, as well as the specific locations that need attention. Call: 937-5550.
Karrine November 18, 2011 at 03:59 PM
contacting housing directly you can NEVER speak to anyone the receptionist is always saying their in a meeting. All the pest control does is is spray for roaches so what are you going to do about the mice? also what about the people hanging in the hallways smoking marajuana and drinking that smell comes in peoples house you call the cops they kick them out and they are right back doing the same thing. maybe if there were locks on the front doors and the intercom actually worked we wouldnt have that problem. you installed cameras do they actually work if so they would catch all of that. what is the housing authority actually doing with the money?
Nik Bonopartis November 18, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Thanks for posting those details. Having them here, out in the public, will help. Bart's already replied above, and it's not unusual for the mayor and others to drop in on the conversations here. I think we can all work together to get some answers and hopefully some movement on the problems you mentioned. I'll also check on the status of the camera system (I remember it was vandalized a while back) and see if we can get some answers on that.
Linda Turturino November 19, 2011 at 01:51 PM
bottom line there are several pages of complaints to the village on the village website and they are not being acted on. Several thousands of dollars for fines and permits that were not obtained are not being collected and the village is missing out on. why is it that complaints from June have empty boxes next to them and no action is being taken why are we not addressing complaints we already have. Look how long it took to get movement to the buliding on Irving Ave those are the questions to be asked
Silvio V. Buccieri November 19, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Linda Turturino, to answer your question, this is Port Chester, there is your answer,
Susie November 19, 2011 at 02:26 PM
The village needs to pass the proposed CO law NOW
Linda Turturino November 19, 2011 at 02:49 PM
I cannot accept that this is just Port Chester. Village employees get paid good money from our tax dollars and it is too much for a compaint to be addressed, call to be returned or email answered. Just do your job and do what you are paid to do and if you cant I bet there are hundreds of people who would like a shot at it. The fact that there are pages of compaints going unattended to is just crazy and again we loose out on the money. Money we could using to make this village better
Silvio V. Buccieri November 19, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Linda, this a good reply, and I hope others read it too.god bless
Linda Turturino November 20, 2011 at 01:13 AM
Thanks Silvio I have always been a straight shooter and tell it like it is. Port Chester is just a very sad sad situation.
Linda Turturino November 20, 2011 at 04:12 PM
here is what our friends in greenwich think of Port Chester: from Greenwich Time regarding expansion of car dealership : Craig Huber, who lives on Oak Street, said the expanded 30-bay, 18,000-square-foot service facility doesn't belong near a residential neighborhood like his. "Greenwich is a great residential community," he said. "This facility does not belong in Greenwich, in my opinion," he said. "Here's a suggestion: let Mercedes put this service facility in Stamford or why don't they put it in Port Chester, N.Y., where the BMW folks have a very successful service center." Read more: http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Mercedes-dealer-expansion-plans-attacked-2278092.php#ixzz1eGLDubmG
Silvio V. Buccieri November 20, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Linda, you see what I mean, this is all around us, dump it in Port Chester. and watch the monthly meeting and you see why. and we still have overcrowding..pissed off tax payer!!
Interested Reader November 20, 2011 at 08:13 PM
I would think we should make contact with Mercedes in Greenwich and give them a tour of potential sites for their facility. Maybe even relocate the showroom, let's take advantage. The facility they are in in Greenwich is assessed at close to two million. It could be a win win for all.
Linda Turturino November 20, 2011 at 10:38 PM
interested reader maybe you are right bring another draw to PC and reap the benefits. but in my opinion this village is a mess garbage everywhere, grafitti, buildings that are an eyesore as well as private homes that have the appearance of a haunted house in a Speilberg movie - going back to code enforcement where are they? I know for a fact when you call the complaint hotline and leave a message nothing gets done, I say this with personal experience.

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