Friday, July 29, 2016
Woman insists she is legal guardian for 25 kids
From the Queens Chronicle:
Shu-Jing Cao, the legal guardian of the group of children that lives at her home at 202-12 32 Ave. in Bayside, says they are well taken-care-of.
“They call me mother,” she said. “I treat them like my own children.”
When asked, Cao did not confirm or deny that 25 children are living at the house, an allegation raised by a civic activist concerned about conditions there and their impact on the neighborhood. But there are two other adults at the property, she said, who also look after the children.
The children attend schools in District 26, one of the best and most overcrowded districts in the entire city.
“They are innocent children,” she said. “They have a right to have education in America ... They’re safe.”
Although the city has not taken any legal action against the house, land use expert Paul Graziano doubts that Cao could be the legal guardian for all the kids living there if there actually are 25.
“No way she’s guardian of 25 kids,” Graziano said in an emailed statement. “The city wouldn’t allow it.”
The land use expert also says that it would not be legal for such a number of people to be living together in the same home.
“Three unrelated persons are allowed in each unit, children or otherwise,” he added. Although the building has two units according to its most recent Certificate of Occupancy, if 25 kids are there, more than three unrelated persons would have to be living in at least one unit. “Otherwise, they would have to get a specific Certificate of Occupancy — which they couldn’t get in a 1- or 2-family zone to begin with, like an R3X zone where this house is located — that would allow them to run a business or charity taking in multiple children for residency.”