LATHAM, N.Y. – The Town of Colonie has filed a 24 count violation against the Sycamore Motel and its owner of record, Suman Patel, for allowing the premises to be used as sub-standard long-term housing in violation of Chapter 119 of the Colonie Town Code, entitled “Occupancy.”
The charges against the motel and its owner were filed after an investigation conducted by the Colonie Police Department and the Town Attorney’s Office on August 21, 2019, disclosed that at least 22 residents of the motel have lived at the premises in excess of the 28-day occupancy limit established by the Town Code.
The investigation also showed that some residents have been living at the motel in excess of one year, and in at least three cases the residents had listed the motel’s address as their primary residence on their New York State Driver’s Licenses.
The Town is seeking an order requiring the motel to comply with the law and cease its practice of allowing its units to be used as substandard housing. In addition to future compliance with the law, the Town is seeking to impose the maximum fines allowed, which provide for a fine of not less than $100.00 per day, nor more than $500.00 per day. Each day the violation continues is deemed a separate offense.
The investigation also showed that a number of the units were in deplorable condition. The charges filed include separate counts for these Building Code violations.
The Town and the defendants are scheduled to appear in Colonie Town Court at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, before Town Justice Norman Massry.
“The Town intends to prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law,” said Town Attorney Michael C. Maggiulli. “This unlawful conduct must stop. People should not live in these conditions. There are no kitchen facilities. The units are equipped solely with small microwave ovens and dormitory refrigerators. The bathrooms are not fit for human use,” Maggiulli continued.
The main purpose of the Town Code provisions is to insure residents living in Colonie have a safe and sanitary place to live. The motel’s records showed that the residents pay $50 per day, or approximately $1,500 per month, for rent. No services are provided by the motel.
“For this amount of money, the Town believes suitable housing can be found for the residents,” said Maggiulli.
The Town will work with the Red Cross and the County of Albany to assist anyone displaced by enforcement of the Town Code.