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Despite Code Violations Driveway Expansion Continues at 57 State Street

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Bob Webster seems to be thumbing his nose at Brockport’s new Code Enforcement Officer, David Miller. But David Miller doesn’t seem to notice.

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It all started back on Tuesday July 22nd when Bob Webster illegally widened the driveway at 57 State Street in a clear violation of section 16-3 of the Village Code.

§ 16-3. Construction and alteration; permit required.
No new driveway shall be connected to a village street, nor may an existing driveway entrance be changed or enlarged, nor may a village curb be allowed or removed, without a permit therefor.

That same day, two different Brockport residents notified Code Enforcement Officer David Miller about the violation. But Miller didn’t do anything about it.

Two days later, I talked to Mayor Margay Blackman about it while we were at a canal side concert at the Visitor Center.

She asked me to talk directly to Code Enforcement Officer David Miller about the violation, because she had delegated that task to him and she wasn’t going to micromanage code enforcement.

The next day, July 25th, I met with David Miller in his office, and he told me that he did not, and would not, issue an appearance ticket to Bob Webster, or send Webster one of the letters that he’s sent to other Brockport residents for minor infractions of the code, because, according to Miller, “The Websters have always done what I’ve asked them to do.”

Those were Miller’s exact words.

“The Websters have always done what I’ve asked them to do.”
Code Enforcement Officer David Miller,
July 25, 014

David Miller told me that he had talked to Bob Webster and told him to fix the driveway at 57 State Street and return it to the way it was, and that Bob Webster had told him he would do so.

That hasn’t happened.

According to a Violation Summary Report obtained from the Village Clerk, Code Enforcement Officer Miller has issued neither an appearance ticket nor a letter to Bob Webster about the ongoing violations of the Village Code happening at 57 State Street.

It has been 33 days since Bob Webster told to the new Code Enforcement Officer that he would repair the damage he had done by illegally widening the driveway but the damage has not been fixed.

In fact it has gotten worse.

Last week, Bob Webster did a half-hearted job of reseeding part of the front lawn that he had excavated when he illegally widened the driveway.

Webster seeded the flat portion of the excavated front lawn, but he did not seed the raw dirt on the steep slope left behind when he removed hundreds of cubic yards of dirt from the front lawn.

Even worse, Webster did nothing to replace the dump truck load of dirt that he had removed from the front lawn, so instead of the north end of the lawn having a gentle slope; it now ends in steep drop off with no grass on it at all.

The dirt on that step slope is slowly eroding away with each new rainfall, which is exactly what you’d expect to happen with exposed dirt on a slope.

When Bob Webster did the half-hearted job of reseeding the part of the front lawn he’d removed, he also placed the line of stones that he had moved to the south several yards, back along the original edge of the driveway, in an attempt to keep his tenants from parking on the expanded portion of the driveway.

But yesterday, the line of stones had been moved to the south once more, near the steep slope, in order to widen the driveway again.

We don’t know if Webster moved the stones or Webster’s college student tenants moved the stones to make more space for them to park.

But it is Bob Webster’s responsibility to put them back and to fill in the hundreds of cubic yards of dirt he removed from the lawn when he illegally widened the driveway 35 days ago.

How many more days will it take before Brockport’s new Code Enforcement Officer David Miller realizes that Bob Webster is not going to repair the damage he has done unless Miller takes some formal written action against him that could result in a court appearance?

It has worked with Bob Webster before, at least partially, and it will work again.

According to a Violation Summary Report, David Miller, has issued 73 written complaints since he became Brockport’s new Code Enforcement Officer.

Many of those written complaints were issued to law abiding citizens over piddling violations of the Village Code, such as an unpainted fence, the side of a garage that has paint missing on one spot, or some weeds by the driveway.

Other written complaints were issued to some notorious college landlords in the village. Three of those 73 citations were issued to Bob Webster for code violations at the rental house he owns at 21 College Street.

On July 1, 2014 Bob Webster was issued Violation Complaint #: 20140002 for violating Village Code Section 35.8 Infestation, storage and screening.

  1. Dumpsters are not enclosed.
  2. Garbage around the dumpsters not in approved containers.

Nothing was done to correct the code violations. So on July 21, 2014 Bob Webster was issued Violation Complaint #: 2014_0126 for violating Village Code Section 35.9 Litter; sanitary facilities and methods; abandoned refrigerators and freezers.

  1. Dumpster is not completely enclosed.
  2. Gutter falling off of the east side.

On July 29, 2014 Bob Webster was issued a revised Violation Complaint #: 2014-0126 for violating Village Code Section 35.5 Exterior Standards.

  1. Dumpster is not completely enclosed.
  2. Gutter falling off of the east side.

As of today, August 28, 2014, the dumpster at 21 College Street has been enclosed by a new wooden picket fence; there is no garbage visible around the dumpster; and the gutter has been reattached to the east side of the house.

The Code Enforcement Officer had to issue four complains about three code violations at the green house at 21 College Street. That’s a lot of work by the Code Enforcement Officer, but the code violations were fixed.

However, another one of those 73citations was issued to Bob Webster is for code violations at the rental house he owns almost directly across the street at 24 College Street.

On July 29, 2014 Bob Webster was issued Violation Complaint #: 20140127 for violating Village Code Section 35.5 Exterior Standards.

  1. Front porch needs to be skirted.
  2. Posts need to be properly replaced over top of the east side bay window.
  3. Front porch paint is peeling.
  4. Gutter on the upper west side is rotted through and downspout missing.

As of today, August 28, 2014, nothing has been done to correct those code four violations at the run-down white house on College Street just west of the Roxbury.

Back on July 25th, David Miller told me, “The Websters have always done what I’ve asked them to do.”

That statement is obviously not true, since Bob Webster has done nothing in the past 30 days to correct any of the code violations he was cited for on July 29, 2014 for code violations at the rental house he owns at 24 College Street.

So what makes David Miller think that Bob Webster will do anything to repair the damage he did to the lawn at 57 State Street in clear violation of section 16-3 of the Village Code?

Unless David Miller issues an appearance ticket to Bob Webster and takes Webster to court because of that code violation, the odds are that Bob Webster will do nothing and the excavated section of the lawn will become a permanent part of the driveway.

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