Neighbors barking mad over barking dogs

Barking dogs, illegal occupancy, and other quality of life issues are plaguing neighbors of one home on Tomlinson Avenue.

The house, a three-family brick building at 1850 Tomlinson Avenue, has received numerous city Department of Buildings and Environmental Control Board violations in the past few years. Neighbors are now up in arms about the latest issue.

Residents of the house keep two dogs outdoors day and night: a large rottweiler and a smaller dog. The dogs never seem to stop barking, neighbors say.

The house has been fined by the DOB for work without a permit, higher occupancy than what is allowed by code, illegal cellar units, and failure to remove illegal partitions and plumbing in the cellar.

Now neighbors have to put up with a noise nuisance too, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca believes it isn’t fair.

After his office reached out to the owner, and Captain Kevin Nicholson of the 49th Precinct tried to intervene as well, Vacca grew fed up and tried to bring all of the neighbors together.

“Over the years, it has been my philosophy to mediate disputes between neighbors,” Vacca said. “In this case, there is no mediation; we have have received no cooperation. We have a person on this block who is not part of the solution, but part of the problem. We will force this building to come into compliance with all city rules and regulations. I would much rather this be addressed on a voluntary basis, but that is not happening.”

Since early 2009, the owner of the property, listed on Department of Buildings documents as Apolonio Delgado, has defaulted on five separate ECB violations. Delgado has racked up over $60,000 worth of ECB fines for operating what might be an illegal single-room occupancy (SRO).

In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection has issued two violations for loud and persistent dog barking, which has rattled neighbors not just on Tomlinson Avenue, but on adjoining Williamsbridge Road properties.

DEP spokesman Angel Roman said that the agency’s noise enforcement unit has issued two violations at the house for an animal “causing unreasonable noise.” The violations were served up on December 21, 2009 and March 23. Since the pet owner did not appear at hearings, default judgements were awarded.

This comes as no surprise to next door neighbor Louis Maselli, who said he lost a tenant that became upset about the constant barking.

“There has been trouble with the barking for five years, and one of the dogs came over into my backyard and bit my shoe,” Maselli said.

“I had one tenant move out because of the barking. It goes on all hours of the day and night.”

Neighbor Steve Slotnick said the larger dog on the property keeps pounding on the back of his fence, which separates his property from 1850 Tomlinson Avenue.

He said that aside from the barking, which makes it difficult for his wife to sleep, he and his neighbors are actually concerned about the safety of the dogs.

“Dogs should not be constantly barking their brains out,” Slotnick said.

“Everyone is concerned about whether these dogs are being treated correctly.”

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