BIG CITY BOWS
TO UPSTATE COUPLE!***
The Tai and Adele Aguirre Story
When Tai and
Adele Aguirre renovated their home in upstate New York in 1994,
little did they know that it would mark the beginning of a
three-year legal nightmare with New York City bureaucrats that
would nearly cost them their livelihood.
Tai and Adele moved from Queens to Putnam County, 100 miles from
New York City, and purchased a dilapidated two-bedroom bungalow
for renovation. The couple planned to use the bungalow as a
residence and place of business. They received the necessary
approvals for the renovation work. Both the Putnam County
Department of Health (PCDOH) and the New York City Department of
Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) inspected the home's septic
tank on numerous occasions and found it to be in good operating
But then the NYCDEP unexpectedly sued the Aguirres, claiming
that their septic tank did not meet state standards. The NYCDEP
argued that the septic system was insufficient for a
four-bedroom house. The Aguirres only had two bedrooms.
"They sued us over a septic system that was examined by them and
found to be working perfectly," says Tai Aguirre who was
perplexed by the NYCDEP's sudden change of mind.
According to the Atlantic Legal Foundation, which represented
the couple, by suing the Aguirres, New York City hoped to set a
precedent in state supreme court allowing the city to regulate
land use and development 100 miles from the city.
The Aguirres refused to back down and waged a media campaign to
publicize the NYCDEP's tactics. Although they had to spend
thousands, the Aguirres were able to put the city on the
defensive. A spokeswoman for the NYCDEP severely hurt the
agency's credibility when she claimed that although the Aguirres'
septic tank was in good condition now, she argued, "Some day in
the future a septic could break down." The Aguirres used
statements like this one to sway public opinion in their favor.
In April 1998, the NYCDEP dropped its lawsuit. "It's ironic that
the terms of the settlement stipulated that we pump the septic
tank less frequently than we already have been doing," says Tai
Aguirre. "So why all these years of harassment and waste of
Source: Tai Aguirre: For more information contact Taivid Media
914 422 1990
HOME | CONTACT | STORIES | SEARCH