Like a deer frozen in the headlights, Park was speechless as Housing Inspector Suzanne Borzak detailed a litany of problems.
On November 4, 2010, a "cease and desist" order was issued when it was discovered that Park was already using the home as a combination church and single family dwelling. An inspection at that time revealed that the place was also home to several families of rats, fleas and cockroaches.
On January 25, another "cease and desist" order was issued when it was discovered that Park was again using Carlton as a multi-family dwelling. In response to a no-heat complaint from a tenant, Borzak visited the property, and learned Park was using all three floors as a multi-family unit. Plug-in space heaters were the only source of heat. Borzak took 10 pictures revealing, among other things, rat feces, exposed wires, inoperable sinks and loose floorboards.
Zoners quickly rejected Park's application.
At their May 25 meeting, Park was back. This time, he brought Bethlehem Attorney Jim Holzinger, and let him do the talking. Instead of appealing the decision, Holzinger directed Park to vacate the building, clear up every possible problem, and make sure that Inspector Borzak was involved in every step of the process. Holzinger also slightly modified the zoning request to prevent the application of res judicata, a legal doctrine that prevents a board from deciding the same matter a second time. Then Holzinger patiently waited with Park through four other cases on the evening's agenda.
After three and a half hours, when Holzinger was finally at the plate, he actually called the very witness who had buried Park in February. Borzak told zoners that she was satisfied that Park now understands the safety requirements, and every problem had been corrected. She added that she will be conducting additional inspections. Holzinger also argued that very large homes like the one owned by Park are impractical for single families and he requested a special exception for a two-family dwelling.
A suspicious Ken Kraft grilled Borzak, pointing out the "unpleasant" pictures she submitted in February, but was eventually satisfied that Park had brought the property up to code. He and Chairman Gus Loupos voted to allow Park to convert the home to a two-family dwelling. Bill Fitzparick, who has previously opposed similar conversions, dissented.