There’s Always One

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Aaah, neighbors. I have some of the best. True neighbors in the sense that we’ve known each other for years, we watch out for each other, we gather for street parties and get along really well.

Except for one.

One NYC guy bought a house near me not to live in but to use it as a place for business. It’s a pretty snazzy house mind you, the setting and house itself remarkable, so it’s no surprise that film makers and ad shoots want it. He likely makes very good money hawking it.

And herein lies the rub and the adversarial nature. After some wrangling with the Town Board, The Town now requires permits for such shoots, only x# shoots per year but a film shoot is different than a print ad shoot so the number of permits pulled can be many. Since the Town requires permits, the owner does follow the rules. For a good 6+ years, he had shoots all the time and the town was none the wiser, nor was the town collecting any permit fees.  So now he follows the rules and is within his legal bounds to do what he does, but several of us who bear the brunt of the trucks and trailers that go up his driveway wonder when does a home stop being a home and become a place of business, a commercial enterprise?

Since no one has ever permanently lived in the house for the decade the NYC resident has owned it (there’s been an occasional renter), one could argue the house is not a home, that it is 100% a commercial enterprise.

Today something big is happening – a long line of trucks and luxury RV’s have been going up there. A call to the town clerk says no permit was pulled for today. The code requires the permit be accompanied by a letter to residents on the street to inform them of the traffic and because we never got a letter, it was odd to see traffic and be unaware.

So here’s the conundrum. Whatever is happening today is happening without a permit. It’s easy to all the police and ask them to see what’s going on, but do I? It’s a fine line between a being that nosy jerk neighbor, the nasty old woman who is always looking over the fence, and letting them get away with a shoot.

It’d be one thing if this owner cared one hoot about the street and the neighborhood, but he’s in this for money, pure and simple. That’s his right, darn it. Sure pisses the rest of us off he’s taking such advantage of the quiet street we live on.

It’s supposed to be oppressively hot again today, well upwards of 90 yesterday. Power outage last night for a couple of hours but my generator did the trick. I suspect the outage was triggered by everyone turning the a/c on at once. Kudos to ConEdision for making robocalls when the power goes back on, asking for a Press One Now, if your power is indeed back up and running. Yep.

Quiet Friday. Nothing major on the agenda except to watch the peonies start to open and watch all the butterflies fluttering around the fading lilac.

7 thoughts on “There’s Always One

  1. I’d make the call. If he is in violation of a town ordinance, that is an issue. It’s also business, not personal. It is not like a situation where you should overlook an occasional wild party thrown by a neighbor as a courtesy. He is probably savvy enough to get that.

  2. The town clerk should be the one to follow up with having the police check it out. However, I’d probably call them myself. Any fine for not obtaining the proper permit is likely to be small and just the cost of doing business, unfortunately.
    Certainly sounds like a zoning violation if it’s purely commercial. With some sleuthing you might be able to find out who the agent is who arranges the shoots.

    1. The town clerk and I are friends and even today she asked me if I wanted to send the police up there. I hesitated. There was a permit pulled a couple of weeks ago for a yoga print ad and for that we all did get letters, but since then, a large trucks have been going up regularly and then today, en masse.

      I am sure we neighbors could create a stink for the owner but we are hoping he sells and leaves us to our former quiet street.

  3. Why should you worry about being a “nosy jerk neighbor” by asking for compliance with the law and courtesy while your neighbor doesn’t worry at all about being a jerk neighbor?

  4. Why don’t you send your drone over there and find out what’s going on? Or maybe go up and see if you can pick up some easy cash by being an extra?

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