Spring Valley’s Office of Buildings and Codes Fights Back Against Lawsuit brought by Landlord with Hundreds of Violations
By Sarah Morgenstern
Instead of beginning to remedy the more than 100 buildings and codes violations found at in Country Village Towers at 101 Kennedy Drive in Spring Valley after a fire broke out on March 9, the building's owners decided to sue the town’s Office of Buildings and Codes (OBC).
After the firefighters extinguished the 7th floor blaze that trapped multiple residents and displaced multiple families, inspectors found in the building’s hallways: combustible materials, but no fire extinguishers.
The inspectors found flammable caulking, a corroded fire pump, exposed wires throughout the building, and countless other highly hazardous violations.
Since March fire, the property owners have still not corrected the many disturbing violations: continuing to put residents’ lives at risk, the OBC told Rockland News.
In response, building owners NBM Management, Weinreb Management, Country Village Towers Corp., and Jacob Weinreb, many of whom are embroiled in another lawsuit that involves more than 200 violations at 11 properties in NYC, filed a lawsuit that challenges the type of court that Rockland County uses to prosecute code enforcement violations and determine fines.
To speed the proceed of trying landlords with many violations, Rockland County is one of many counties statewide to try such cases at state agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The purpose of the expedited trial system through state agencies, Rockland News explained “places more urgency on the landlord to remedy dangerous violations putting lives at risk.”
“This is a prime example of an irresponsible landlord trying to scapegoat the law,” said County Executive Ed Day. “Our administrative court is a legal, well-established process and I pledge to fight this ridiculous lawsuit.”