From the Queens Chronicle:
Joy Tirado is no quitter.
She’s the owner of the Western Riding Club, a traditional stable in a residential neighborhood of Fresh Meadows, who is fighting to keep the facility open. And now its future may rest with a judge who will determine the outcome.
Since May, more than 1,000 area residents have signed petitions to keep the stable open. State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) tried unsuccessfully to get it landmarked and the Knights of Columbus held a fundraiser so Tirado could hire an attorney.
That’s because her landlord, John Lightstone, 87, who lives in the adjacent house, wants to sell the property to the Reformed Church of America, a Korean congregation. Church members told her they would tear down the barn and turn it into a parking lot and use the house for the church.
“I was never told the property was listed last year,” said Tirado, who has been there for three years. “I only found out in March. We don’t even know the price, as it’s ranged from $699,000 to $800,000.”
She was supposed to be out by the end of July, but the K of C came through with enough money for her to hire an attorney, who filed a legal complaint, and now “everything is on hold,” according to Tirado.
Her lawyer said that Lightstone’s attorney has not yet responded and has 30 days to answer the charges, which include the right of first refusal to purchase as is spelled out in her lease and a good-faith clause, among other issues. It is likely the owner will ask for a 30-day extension beyond that.
With a little breathing room Tirado is hoping to raise funds to buy the property at 169-38 Pidgeon Meadow Road and turn it into a community center and stable. “It would go from the Western Riding Club to It Takes a Village Ranch,” she said.