Building Departments

BETRAYAL & THE DOB

We are a nation of laws and we all want government to protect us, but there is a point of diminished returns. Government means power and power corrupts. The only way to control government corruption is for the governed to diligently supervise their governors. Today the percentage of us who can just name our legislators rounds to zero. We’ll spend more time scrutinizing our next pair of shoes than any politician. No one is regulating the regulators. Supervision has given way to trust. And in the shadows of that trust we’ve been betrayed. Most DOBs (dept of bldg) have become arrogant, oppressive, un-affordable & unpopular. And it gets worse by the day.

Over the years I’ve penned dozens of letters for my clients to the TNH Council (town of N Hempstead) requesting a written reply with either an explanation for, or relief from oppressive & unpopular regulations. Never a single response. What an unforgivable insolence. We must respond to government yet it can ignore us like we don’t exist. The double standard reveals the true extent of government arrogance & superiority. Government has betrayed the will and the trust of its people.

If you make a mistake you pay for it. If the DOB makes a mistake you pay for that too. Every day the DOB evades more responsibility despite increasing authority. But authority without responsibility gives government unlimited power.  And unlimited government is a betrayal of our country.

Yesterday the building code was simple and easy for everyone to understand. Today the code is obfuscated and subject to government interpretation. But government discretion also gives government unlimited power.  And unlimited government is a betrayal of our country.

Americas not a perfect county but we have a standard that we aspire to. Our standard is limited government and it’s been a beacon for the whole world. Our arrogant government has replaced this standard with its own. That’s fine so long as we reword our national anthem to the land of “the used to be free”. Until then the whole world is laughing at us. And the only ones laughing harder than the rest of the world are the crooked politicians and the DOB.

We all want government to protect us with reasonable codes. But as patriots politicians are obligated to defend limited government first. We’ve been betrayed. And we have a name for betrayal of country. We call it treason. Lets call it what it is.

No building is perfect so the DOB will eventually find you too. People live in fear. But you don’t have to. Governments greatest betrayal is its most guarded secret… legislators hold power with only 3% of the electorate and are easily overthrown. What politician can you name that tells you that?

Join our email network. Every year we email you the date of the election and the candidates who have signed our contract for endorsement. Your vote won’t make much of a difference but you can shepherd the votes that do. Forward our emails to your contacts and have them repeat the process. Using group email we can build an unbeatable voting block without getting up from our computers. Incumbents can’t win the popular vote because they’re unpopular. Their only option would be to step down… or respect our heritage & people.

This is a growing problem. Tomorrow will be worse than today. If you trust our entirely unsupervised government you don’t have to do anything. If you’re concerned, add your email to our list. You can also share our website on social media. And you can track our progress by following the voting information page also on the website. We will be publishing these articles in the press. And we provide free lawn signs & banners too.

 

 

Here are some of the warning signs for treason;

RESPONSIBILITY.  Building officials are quick to wash their hands of any responsibility for their authority.  But authority without responsibility gives government unlimited power.

DISCRETION.  The building code is obfuscated and subject to interpretation.  And the DOB has sole discretion for interpretation.  But government discretion gives government unlimited power.

PROTECTION.  Every day officials use the word “protection” to justify authority.  But protection is just a decoy.  Under the guise of protection they routinely bully people into submission.

FEAR.  Every day more people fear the DOB.  They don’t fear the reasonable requirements.  They fear the excessive & damaging ones.  Their intuition serves them well.

SELF PROTECTIVE REGULATION.  We want the DOB to protect us from each other but not from ourselves.  Simple gas and electrical inspections are prudent and over-crowding should be controlled.  But 90% of the residential building code is an un-American invasion of privacy and has passed the point of diminished returns.  The problem is not with the code but rather with excessive enforcement.  The price of liberty is imperfection but the price of over-regulation is America.  Excessive regulation is unpopular & damaging.

THE RESIDENTIAL CODE.  This code has enabled government to steal your home.  The title makes you responsible for the tax & maintenance.  But government gets the money & control.  Recently government has made it a crime to touch your property without its permission.  If you steal or kill you go to prison.  Now if you improve your property you go to prison too.

BARRIERS TO FILING.  DOB’s routinely require building permit applications to be perfect or they won’t accept them.  But the DOB can enforce the code with permits so there’s no reason to deny an application.  If government had any respect for the people’s time it would be easy to file an application.  The disregard exposes a double standard.  The quintessential example of arrogance & superiority.

WITCH-HUNTS.  This policy enables the DOB to use a simple issue as an excuse to justify whole property evaluations regardless of threat.  Witch-hunts are routine in a dictatorship but unpopular in America.

STANDARDS FOR MAINTAINS.  Architects are necessary to design new structures but requiring them to draw and certify existing construction is often excessive and damaging.  The DOB is the foremost authority in building construction.  It should be qualified to determine if residential & light commercial work meets the code.  If it’s not qualified, then it certainly shouldn’t be wielding the extraordinary power of the DOB.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY.  Plan reviews are becoming increasingly inefficient as examiners increasingly issue omissions in series instead of performing a thorough review and addressing deficiencies as a group.  As a result the examination process goes back and fourth excessively, wasting everyone’s time & money and putting tax payers in multiple jeopardy.

MAINTAIN FINES.  Fines are routinely imposed on applications to maintain work done without a permit.  Fines are necessary to enforce cooperation but an application is proof of cooperation.  As such fines on applications are nothing more than a deceptive form of tax or theft.

BLANKET REGULATION.  This regulation takes away everyone’s rights because of the transgressions of a few, thereby hurting innocent people.  One of the costs of freedom is that we don’t let a few bad apple spoil the bunch.  (example – TNH CDA)

DELIBERATE OVER-REGULATION.  Power corrupts and the DOB knows it.  The lack of any warning is no mistake.   This exposes government as deceitfully erasing liberty.  And it exposes “we the people” as guilty of being oblivious & indifferent enough to be deceived.

ARROGANCE.  If you ever question or challenge the DOB you can forget about its cooperation.  The DOB is infested with egotists.

 

TOWN OF NORTH HEMPSTEAD

A SUBTLE ATTACK

Are the good people of North Hempstead being subtly attacked by the Department of Buildings?  We all want government to keep us safe but there’s a point of diminished returns.

Building codes get more onerous by the day and today are almost impossible to comply with.  When the DOB reviews a permit application and determines the application to be incomplete it notifies the applicant by a letter entitled as an “Omission”.  The town could choose a title that acknowledges the onerous bureaucracy but instead it carefully crafts language that’s blatantly condescending & derogatory to the applicants.  An “omission” is an imperfection or deficiency.  Obviously the town would never use this kind of language if it were humble enough to recognize its own deficiencies.  The choice of language reveals a double standard whereby the town views itself as supreme and the people as beneath it.  Any respect for the people has given way to disdain & contempt or the town would choose more respectful language.  To make matters worse the use of condescending & derogatory language isn’t necessary to enforce the code.  And to add insult to injury the use of this insulting & offensive language, right on the face page of public documents, reveals arrogance so bold that it doesn’t even make any attempt to conceal itself.  America’s amazing stature was certainly not achieved with an arrogant & unpopular government like this one.

I’ve been working with the people of North Hempstead as an architect in Westbury for many years.  On 3/11/15 I communicated to district 1 councilwomen that I saw a growing wave of anger & resentment towards the town because of government arrogance & onerous regulation.  She responded right away with a request for more detail so I sent her the extensive list of grievances & examples that are outlined on this website.  I went on to argue that there are so many offended people they could form a majority and win council seats.  I closed by requesting help to organize their collective voice and I never heard back from her again.

Legislators hold power with only 3% of the electorate.  And because they’re unpopular it’s easy to build a voting block to replace them.  In May, we upset the Westbury school board.  Now we intend to upset the Town of North Hempstead too.

If you’re concerned, explore our website, share it, and join our growing voting block today.  Also feel free to visit our unique showroom now open to the public 24/7 year round @ 523 Post Ave Westbury NY.

Gary Spinello – RA – Westbury

 

THE “APPLICANTS ADVOCATE”

I’m an architect and have been practicing in Westbury for over 30 years.  In the past few years I’ve seen a dangerous trend whereby government is sending home owners into court for performing interior alterations to their private homes without a permit.  Of course we need a court system to force public cooperation but I’ve never had a client refuse to cooperate once the DOB stopped their job.  It seems evident that the only reason to send these people into court is just to feed a bloated bureaucracy that’s driving the community into bankruptcy.

Another dangerous trend is that when people file permit applications they’re consistently turned away because their application is “incorrect” and when they attempt to re-file they’re given a series of different objections by different clerks.  Instead of spending a few minutes to help applicants these clerks force applicants to return over & over wasting hours of their invaluable time.  It’s certainly understandable for the town to scrutinize the permit process but there is simply no reason for the application process to be so difficult.  This dangerous trend reveals a double standard whereby the town clearly views its time as more valuable than ours and whereby the town simply does not have to demonstrate any responsibility whatsoever for its incompetence.

On 6/28/16 a client came in stating that the Town was offering a new “applicants advocate” service designed to help people apply for a building permit.  I called the advocate for her to explain how she is given a different story each time she attempts to apply.  Without seeing the evidence the advocate explained that all of the trouble was our own fault.  And she provided no help at all.

We seek a town council that doesn’t betray people.  We believe that the only thing that will stop them is to replace them.  Governments best kept secret is that legislators hold power with only 3% of the electorate.  In May, we upset the Westbury school board.  Now we intend to upset the Town of North Hempstead.  If you’re concerned, explore our website, share it, and sign on to our growing voting block.

Gary Spinello – RA – Westbury

 

THE ZBA

I am an architect practicing & living in Westbury.  Recently I represented a client at a North Hempstead Zoning Board of Appeals hearing.  Our application was for permission to make alterations to a restaurant in Westbury.  And our experience with the board is one the community should know about.

We submitted an initial application to the town in January 2015.  The architectural drawing was rejected several times by the department of buildings (DOB) before it was finally approved for the zoning board hearing.  At the hearing the board questioned why the drawing was rejected so many times.  The town is aware that increasing bureaucracy has made it difficult for architects to comply with building codes.  The town is aware that its reputation as being difficult precedes it.  And the town is aware that excessive regulation has become unpopular.  Instead of acknowledging these facts the board chose to summarily dismiss them and instead question the architects’ competency by insinuation.  Our unique country certainly wasn’t formed by an arrogant government like this one.  We the people want a government that respects limited government, that acknowledges over-regulation, that understands that it has become unpopular, and that vows to fight for the people.  We the people entrust government with extraordinary power to protect us and not hurt us.

The board also expressed concern that the math on the plan was deficient & wrong.  As it turned out it was the boards’ math that was wrong.  It was the board itself that was in fact disorganized & unprepared.  Again there was no respect.  There was no apology.  And nothing was said to correct the record.  But even if the architects’ math was wrong it’s noteworthy to understand the implications.  First, the board can protect the community by controlling permits so publicly criticizing individuals, even by innuendo, is unnecessary.  Second is that when government criticizes individuals on the public record it does incalculable damage to the individuals reputation, again for no reason.  We the people entrust government with extraordinary power to protect us and not hurt us.

The restaurant had an illegal pool table at the time of the hearing.  The pool table had been there for years.  The towns’ enforcement division had been inspecting for years.  And the town compliance office had been aware of the illegal pool table for years.  My responsibility as an architect is to propose a plan that demonstrates compliance with the code.  As such the illegal pool table was excluded from the plan.  The board labeled the exclusion as a big “problem”.  For government to use this kind of language on the public record does incalculable damage to a professional’s reputation.  It was evident to everyone that it was the town that had completely failed, year after year, to do its job, and enforce the code.  And it seemed obvious that the boards’ criticism of the plan was instead just a decoy to divert attention away from the towns own failure.  We the people entrust government with extraordinary power to protect us and not hurt us.

At a subsequent hearing a neighbor expressed concern that the restaurant was attracting crimes that were occurring after midnight.  Although elderly, the resident was able to provide great detail as an eyewitness to illegal activities.  Though concerned, the neighbor was gracious, humble, and genuine.  And her testimony was without malice.  She stated that she wanted to keep the restaurant and just eliminate the danger.  The attorney for the applicant expressed trouble believing that the elderly neighbor “good see that much detail in the dark”.  The zoning board lashed out at the attorney calling her opinion “disgusting” and demanding a public apology.  But the attorney had a right to a respectful opinion.  The boards startling response was more like an attack against the voicing of opinion.  The attack put a quiet chill over free speech and over our “land of the free” in general.  The board can protect the community by controlling permits so the attack was unnecessary.  The net result was public fear.  Fear to say anything.  And fear that government would use its power to intimidate people and suppress open discussion.  The attack is irrefutable as it’s on the public record.  You can view the transcript yourself at the village clerks’ office.  The hearings were for 678 Union Ave Westbury on 5/11/16 and 6/8/16.  The board could have very easily resolved the application at the hearing by limiting the hours of operation of the restaurant.  Instead it adjourned the hearing.  And in a subsequent decision the restaurant was put out of business for good.  We the people entrust government with extraordinary power to protect us and not hurt us.

The hearing is the quintessential example of why government has become so unpopular in the first place.  And it’s not only arrogant & incompetent.  It’s also raised the specter of treason.  Government’s betrayed & disrespected our heritage of limited government by failing to acknowledge it.  “Protection” has become a decoy for oppression.  And no buildings are perfect so the DOB may find you too.

Legislators hold power with only 3% of the electorate.  And because they’re unpopular it’s easy to build a voting block to replace them.  In May, we upset the Westbury school board.  Now we intend to upset North Hempstead and Nassau County too.

If you’re concerned, explore our website, share it, and join our growing voting block today.  Also feel free to visit our unique showroom now open to the public 24/7 year round @ 523 Post Ave Westbury NY.

Gary Spinello – Westbury

 

 

AN OPEN ATTACK

We are a nation of laws.  And we all want government to protect us.  But left unchecked, bureaucratic power hurts innocent people.

I am an architect living & practicing in Westbury.  On 1/25/17 I attended a Town of North Hempstead BZA hearing (board of zoning appeals).  The application was to convert a restaurant into a deli at 678 Union Ave in Westbury.  I attended the hearing in order to help answer any questions the Board might have regarding my plan.

The plan proposed to remove an existing bar.  The Board complained that the plan was too small to understand this proposed work.  But it became evident that the Town had reduced the drawing.  I defended my original plan as large enough to be legible for everyone to read, including the Department of Buildings (DOB) who a approved the plan for release to the BZA in the first place.

There was also a conflict on the plan regarding whether or not to keep a 2’ rooftop satellite dish.  The dish had subsequently been removed so the conflict was inconsequential.  But the Board was intent on condemning the plan.  I stated that the Board was “making mountains out of molehills”.  And the resulting rebuke of this opinion was vicious.

The removal of the bar was clear.  And a satellite dish is not a threat to the community.  Even so the BZA could have approved our application with a condition that the bar & dish be removed.  But the Board chose not to.

Instead, the Board attacked me.  The Chairman stated that I should be embarrassed as an architect.  Public ridicule like this causes incalculable damage to professional reputations.  The Board doesn’t have to attack & hurt people in order to enforce the code.  And the Board didn’t limit the damage to its unnecessary attack.

People live in fear of the BZA.  At hearings the Board tells people not to be afraid.  But the people’s intuition serves them well.

After the attack the Board imposed its most lethal penalty by adjourning the hearing for a month.  Without a BZA decision the owner has to pay tax, rent, mortgage, and expenses without benefit of income from the property.  And the Board fully understands this damaging consequence.  It is simply not credible that in the name of the two insignificant objections mentioned above, the Board would rack up tens of thousands of dollars worth of needless damage to our innocent families & children.  Instead, the attack & penalty were nefarious & deliberate.

The DOB approved my plan for the BZA hearing.  The Board claims that government bears no responsibility for this approval.  But government has authority.  And authority without responsibility gives government unlimited power.

For government to seek unlimited power is a betrayal of our country.  For government to use its power to attack & hurt people is a betrayal of our country.  And we have a name for betrayal of country.  We call it treason.  Let’s call it what it is.

I ask that no one take my word for the events of 1/25/17.  The attack & penalty are irrefutable as they are on the public record.

We all want government to protect us.  But government means power and power corrupts.  So the only trustworthy government is one that is supervised by the people.  Today the percentage of us that can just name our legislators rounds to zero.  We’ll spend more time scrutinizing our next pair of shoes than any politician.  It’s no surprise that government has become onerous & unpopular.  And part of the price we pay is a dangerous BZA like this one.

Thankfully there’s good news.  Governments’ greatest betrayal is its most guarded secret; legislators hold power with only 3% of the electorate and are easily overthrown.  We’ve built an email voting network.  The network is growing and has had success.  Your vote alone doesn’t count, but through the network you can shepherd the votes that do.  Before each election we send out an email.  Simply forward the email to your contacts and have them repeat the process.

The email contains the date of the election and the candidate who has signed our contract for endorsement.  The contract is an agreement whereby we endorse candidates in exchange for their commitment to formally & publicly adopt this website & and promote its agenda.

If you trust government you don’t have to do anything.  If you’re concerned, add your email to our list.  You can also share the website on social media.  And you can track our progress by following the voting information page.

 

TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD

Stay current with this website for upcoming articles exposing the ever growing wave of complaints about arrogance, indifference, incompetence, corruption, treason, and unnecessary damages.

 

 

TOWN OF OYSTER BAY

The DOB has discovered that if it issues unlawful cease & desist orders verbally instead of in writing then it can not only evade its enforcement responsibility but also evade any responsibility for all the damage it causes as well.  The DOB will shut down a restaurant for minor interior alterations if those alterations change the occupant load.  Alternatively the DOB could issue a temporary CO limiting the occupant load until compliance is achieved but it’s too arrogant to be sensible.  And it’s shrewd enough to avoid revealing the arrogance in writing.

 

TOWN OF ISLIP

The Towns “Plan Review Notice” is a statement that the DOB requires architects to affix to drawings stating that the architect is responsible for everything and the DOB is responsible for nothing.  This is a deliberate and deceptive attempt by the DOB to avoid any responsibility for its authority and this would obviously give government unlimited power.  Since the required “notice” is issued in writing it’s another great example of arrogance so bold that it doesn’t even make any attempt to conceal itself.

 

 

THE VILLAGE OF WESTBURY

It’s important to note that some DOB’s work hard to honor the balance between regulation and liberty.  The Village of Westbury is one such example.  May God bless Mayor Cavallaro, the Village Trustees, Commissioner Bill Mello, inspectors Joe & Harix, and the Village staff.  May they continue to be a model for America.

 

THE VILLIAGE OF ISLAND PARK

I am an architect and currently doing work on a dwelling in Island Park.  Every day more Americans become concerned about over-regulation and government arrogance.  I understand them because I see it myself in many of building departments that I deal with.  It seems that I’m constantly raising my fees to pay for ever increasing bureaucracy.  Moreover I’ve become unsettled when I sing about the “land of the free” in our national anthem.  My experiences with villages like Island Park make the anthem seem more hypocritical every time I sing it.  Sometimes I feel like the whole world is laughing at us for claiming to be free when we’re really not.

The building inspector for the Village of Island Park has required me to be responsible for insulation that the contractor installed.  The building department is established by the people as the foremost authority in building construction.  And it normally inspects insulation itself.  If it’s no longer competent to inspect insulation than it certainly shouldn’t be wielding the extraordinary power of the DOB (department of buildings).  The requirement that I be responsible relieves the village from its responsibility.  And it does so at the people’s expense.  But the underlying threat is that authority without responsibility gives government unlimited power.  And unlimited government is still unpopular in America.  The insulation requirement seems reasonable on the surface.  But careful scrutiny reveals the truth.  And the truth is that every day government grows larger at the people’s expense.

The insulation is not the only problem.  This project required a Zoning Board approval.  At the public hearing the owner and his building team were attacked and humiliated for no reason.  The Board claimed that the architectural drawing was deficient.  But the drawing was pre-approved by the village DOB for release to the Board in advance of the public hearing.  The attack is irrefutable as it is on the public record.  You can view the transcript yourself at the village clerks’ office.  The hearing was for 3 Deal Rd on 12/17/14.  We sent a respectful letter to the mayor & each trustee on 12/29/14 to request an explanation for the attack.  We never received a single reply.

We seek a village council that doesn’t betray & attack us.  We believe that the only thing that will stop them is to replace them.  Governments best kept secret is that legislators hold power with only 3% of the electorate.  In May, we upset the Westbury school board.  Now we intend to upset the Town of North Hempstead and Village of Island Park.  If you’re concerned, explore our website, share it, and sign on to our growing voting block.

Gary Spinello – RA – Westbury