Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bloomberg's DOB picking on disabled elderly man

From the Times Ledger:

Bayside community activist Mandingo Tshaka has been slapped with a $27,400 city fine following a June inspection of his home by the city Department of Buildings. But he said one violation at his house had been corrected, while another was invalid under former city zoning laws.

Tshaka said a DOB inspector showed up at his home on a residential street south of Northern Boulevard June 4 and told him that a complaint had been made that he was running an illegal rooming house. The inspector searched the home, which had been owned by Tshaka’s grandmother, Lillian Ely Selby, since the early 1900s, and took pictures.

But Tshaka told the inspector that he, his aide and two renters lived in the house, which is registered as a one-family home.

“The 1961 [city] zoning resolution makes it clear that you can have two people living in your home, and the third person I have there is my aide,” said Tshaka, who uses a wheelchair. “It’s as-of-right. My house was a hotel, but I called it a way station. I kept the tradition of my grandmother and continued to rent rooms.”

Paul Kerson, Tshaka’s attorney, said Tshaka’s grandmother had converted the home into a rooming house in 1935 under the tenets of 1916 zoning laws, which legalized rooming houses or hotels in residential neighborhoods. In 1961, the city ruled that rooming houses could not be constructed in these neighborhoods, but under grandfathering laws allowed existing structures to remain as long as they were not further altered.

“What I think must have happened is that [the ECB] didn’t believe him,” Kerson said. “The building hasn’t changed since 1935. It’s clear he should not have to pay any fine. This whole thing is outrageous.”

Kerson has appealed to the ECB’s appeals unit on Tshaka’s behalf.


ceiling on my head lady said...

But something that could be checked with a quick look at the records won't be and a crippled will be fined into the ground, while my death-defying landlord goes on his merry way. Who makes the gold makes the rules.

Taxpayer said...

“What I think must have happened is that [the ECB] didn’t believe him,” Kerson said. “The building hasn’t changed since 1935. It’s clear he should not have to pay any fine. This whole thing is outrageous.”

- - -

This is not a matter for ECB to believe or disbelieve.

This is a matter to be evaluated under the law.

There is no room for belief here. If the law is as Tshaka and his attorney Paul Kerson point out, then ECB has once again disgraced itself in its contempt for the law and for those who suffer under that contempt.

Read then:
to decide if the Commissar and DOB are retaliating against Tshaka for his community service.

I believe that this is once again a demonstration of the Commissar's "love" of the middle class, minorities and invalids. Trouble is, The Commissar spells "love" L O A T H E.

More proof that this land thief (is he after Tshaka's private property for use by one of his extremely wealthy developer friends?) must be dumped.

Time to dump this turtle-faced lying dwarf.

Take control. Dump the turd!

a fellow activist said...

Mandingo is a great soul and has fought many injustices as a community activist over the years, while others were content to remain community sloths.

The payback for criticizing local governments in particular is that they will attempt to silence you.

The meaner of that lot seek revenge.

Their most cowardly crews will kick you at your weakest point.

Thanks Mandingo and thank you Paul for representing him.

Keep the faith and stay strong1

Anonymous said...

Would that DOB should act so fast when it comes to all those truly illegal Asian hotels sprouting up in residential nabes all around the outskirts of downtown Flushing.

Oh, it's OK to step on an African American senior citizen but as was said by one pol many years ago, "We don't want to offend the Asians".

I guess that's because of the vast sums of money they've poured into political campaigns over the years since the mid 70s.

Anonymous said...

In an otherwise apathetic borough, Tshaka takes great interest not only in his own African and Native history, but in local history as well.

The city chose the wrong person to mess with.

Anonymous said...

do not rush to judgement on this alleged illegal occupancy violation yet. n.y.c.home owners are not permitted to rent for money in a one family zoned area. it is not stated if n.y.c./n.y.s. income taxes were paid? could this be another rep.c.rangel type property
tax scam? if the zoning violator is of a particular race/ethnic group or ill, is not relevant .the laws apply to us all. no person is exempt. this area is not zoned for S.R.O.'s.
community activists must abide by the same laws for us all. or have some become exempt in 2009 ? was he ever able to walk ?

a person takes risks when making accusations about builders,auto dealers and citizens. politicians, builders,auto dealers,c.p.b./c.s.b.members often retaliate against their critics,as well. a local civic leader is infamous for legal action against
a critic,when losing a debate. maybe the chickens are coming home to roost ? people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Queens Crapper said...

If your home was there before a downzoning, it is grandfathered in, as was the case here. The owner can maintain a "non-conforming" building even after the zoning is changed and rent it out.