OSWEGO, NY – A city landlord’s parking plan for a recently purchased property drew sharp criticism at Monday night’s Physical Services Committee meeting.
Atom Avery, the owner of a multiple-family dwelling at 96 W. Oneida St. wants to install two new parking spaces in public space located between the sidewalk and the building on the West Eighth Street side of the property.
The plan doesn’t call for any additional parking spaces; two parking spots on the Oneida Street side of the property would be returned to green space, Avery told the committee.
However, residents who live around the property fear additional parking means more unruly tenants and a lower quality of life for them.
“I know there are quality of life issues in that area that need to be addressed,” said Third Ward Councilor Cathy Santos, committee member. “There are concerns about what has happened in that area previously.
Mr. and Mrs. Castiglia, who live across from the property, offered inventory of disruptive behavior and alleged retaliation.
Wilma Castiglia told the committee about how the tenants party, vomit and urinate all over neighbors’ yards, their garbage piles up and stinks.
“We’re totally against any additional parking spaces,” she said. “We feel this is being requested so even more additional college students can be allowed to move in. We are sick of the non-caring, swearing, disrespectful, urinating, vomiting, stealing, littering, partying all hours of the night by people who live in rental student party houses in our neighborhood.”
It seems the city and the landlords have no concern for the people who live around “these party houses,” she added.
She told about a 90-year-old woman who complained to the police about the noise the tenants were making and instead of quieting down, the tenants spent the rest of the night harassing the old woman by constantly ringing the doorbell on her home and also threw small stones at her windows, according to Castiglia. The woman has had her doorbell disconnected and has moved to another bedroom in the middle of her house, she added.
Mr. Castiglia said he put a lot of money into his residence “Only to wake up one morning and find out I live across from a Motel 6. There are people coming and going all hours of the night. I don’t have nothing against Mr. Avery; I know he’s cleaning the place up. But the fact remains, you’re still going to have 10 cars parked there, all these people living there, if their girlfriends come over that’s another four, five or six cars. I put up with it all year long. My quality of life is going down. The city needs to start thinking about the single-family homeowners!”
Avery pointed out that he just purchased the property five days ago and is working to improve it.
“I want to straighten out the house, the parking issue to the best of my ability,” he said. “I am over there, working vigorously upgrading the property.”
The tenants described by Mrs. Castiglia weren’t his tenants, he pointed out. He wants to attract a higher quality of tenants, he added.
“To attract a quality tenant, you need to have a quality piece of property,” he said. “Right now, (the property) is in shambles. There were horrible tenants in the past.”
He noted that he grew up just a block away from the property in question. “This was the scariest house to walk past,” he said. “So, I am here to basically say give me a little leeway, put a little faith in me and I will turn the property around. I will leave it better than I found it.”
Councilor Mike Myers said he’d support the plan when it comes to the council floor because of what Avery has done to improve various other properties that he owns around the city.
“Everything that we’ve heard from these folks needs to be addressed by the city,” said Councilor Connie Cosemento, committee chair.
She echoed Myers’ sentiments, noting that Avery owns a rental near her and has always be a good landlord quickly taking care of any problems that might arise.
Cosemento, Santos and Shawn Walker voted to send the request to the full council for consideration.