The Millbrook Independent wrote this article about Yours Truly, and we wanted to
cross out every error which appears in this article, for review:
Barn declared unlivable
A group of youth from many quarters, but mostly from New York City, some of whom once occupied Wall Street, are now occupying a barn and a hillside along Old Route 22 between the hamlets of Amenia and Wassaic,
much to the consternation of town officials and neighbors. The property once belonged to Dave Luther, the auctioneer, who sold it to the present owner.
The property belongs to William Henry who has a permissive attitude as to who lives on his property. He had been lax in the payment of taxes and mortgages, so his property has been in foreclosure for some time,
is in a sad state of disrepair, and is ill-equipped with plumbing and other facilities suitable to house groups of unrelated people. Some of this crowd migrated up the side of Rattlesnake Mountain where they were discovered by a realtor, who was showing the property to a prospective buyer, running around naked. A small village of tents were scattered in the woods where the youth were seemingly living in a state of nature. Others have been living in the barn close to the road and others are in the house with a tarp draped over a section of roof.There has been legitimate agricultural housing for those who stay longer than a weekend, who tend the crops and provide for others to be able to visit and participate. We suspect the writer of this to be using outdated satellite footage to have come up with the tarp-on-roof conclusion.
The housing condition of this group came to the attention of the building inspector who found
three building/zoning violations. Henry was given until July 9 to correct those violations by removing the illegal occupancies and doing other work. The County Health Department inspected the barn on May 13 and declared, on June 10, the barn’s occupation a nuisance, citing four serious health violations, including lack of toilets, water and sanitation and issued a cease and desist order. no such order was issued, nuisance is no longer, water is installed
Meanwhile, members of the group, who call themselves “ARC 38”
appeared before the town board to request permission to continue their arrangements. They were told they would have to comply with the town’s zoning law and building code. The owner would have to file an application for a special permit. The group then met with John Fenton, the Building/Zoning Administrator, Nina Peek, the chair of the planning board and Victoria Perotti, a town board member who pointed out the numerous violations of the health, fire, building, zoning and DEC codes, laws and regulations that the group’s living arrangements incurred. It was only through persistent pressure from one to three individuals, that the Town Officials had to make this an issue and find something to write up as problematic.
Since the group has stated its intention to continue its occupation, the town has laid out the process the property owner must follow to obtain a special permit that would be necessary for the group to use the property for housing or other purposes not in conformity with zoning. The first step would be for the group to vacate the site, except for the allowed residence in the single family home.A preposterous proposal, no? We must not be there to do the work we are being told to do? Really? What about all the plants and animals we have been taking care of who cannot take care of themselves? To demand a complete closure is not in keeping with the sincere desire for an equitable transition from a lasting happening into a categorized entity, a process which usually destroys anything worth keeping, the very lifeblood of what made something worth instituting… Alas, Truth is Paradox!
To date the group has not vacated the property, nor has the owner filed an application for a special permit.
The town can obtain a court order to terminate the illegal uses and evict the illegal occupants. The barns have been locked up for over a week, all resources have had to be accessed by different means until the designation as a safe building is in fact affirmed. We look forward to opening our doors again on that date.