Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Positive Michael Flaherty story

For those who follow the blog, they may remember I blogged about a roofdeck across the street from me at 218 West Springfield Street. I told the city before they built it, while they were building it, and after they built it that they were building an illegal roof deck without a permit. That was about 3 years ago and a violation is in the computer at Inspectional Services Department and the Historic commission supposedly sent letters to the owner.

The South End Historic department told me not to worry (other than I have to look at an illegal roof deck, not built to specs) that they owner would never be able to sell their unit, and that they would not be able to get a permit to do any work on the unit.

So, recently I found out the owner had sold the unit a few months ago.

The city wasn't accurate (lied???) about that.

Then, I woke up one morning to see the new owner building an illegal headhouse. I investigated and the new owner had a permit for doing work.

The city wasn't accurate (lied???) about that.

Of course, the owner pulled a permit that wasn't honest about the extent of the work they were doing.

I called ISD and only got voicemails. I called the Mayor's hotline and they said they'd do something about it (nothing was done). I asked the man on the phone if someone built an illegal deck outside the mayor's bedroom window would something get done within 3 years about it? He assured me that no one gets favorable treatment in the city, and this would be treated just like if the Mayor lived across the street. (How does the kool-aid taste down at city hall???) So, apparently even if you live across the street from the Mayor you don't need to get permits from the city, and you can avoid letters from the city instructing you to follow the rules. It makes one wonder why you would want to follow the rules, doesn't it?

I happened to be at ISD about 3 days later and asked the Inspector what she had done about it? She didn't know anything about it, and asked if I had put in a complaint. Yes, I responded and she said she hadn't received a complaint from the system. I went downstairs to check on the people inputting the system, and they said yes they had inputted it. Funny enough, when I went upstairs it had shown up on the inspectors desk, and sure enough that day she went out and put a stop work order on the building.

Well, what about Michael Flaherty? This is a song about Michael Flaherty (to steal a line from Arlo--happy birthday today!) Well, I called up his office to explain the situation as I had seen he was talking about urban blight in the form of satellite dishes. Now surely a man who is concerned about satellite dishes, would be concerned about illegal roof decks in historic districts. Sue enough, I talked to Bobby in his office and Bobby and Michael both followed up with ISD and they got back to me. Unfortuneately, they didn't have much to report but they assured me that ISD assured them that the system is being properly followed.

I don't know if I will hold my breath anytime soon, but I do appreciate them following up.

The Moral of the story, if you want to build a roof deck, Just Do It!!! especially if you don't have someone who is fascinated by the hypocrisy of the system living across the street from you.

No comments: