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No Whining, Please, Cost of Doing Business

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 12:11

Unrepentant, Juan Figueroa, the owner of a modern house in Springs who hosted illegal for-profit parties there last summer, thought a $32,000 town settlement was well worth it. According to Page Six, he declared, “I would have paid anything to never see their unhappy resentful faces again.”

There is quite a bit to reflect on in Mr. Figueroa’s statement. For him and his co-defendants, $32,000 was nothing more than an extra cost of doing business. The house has been on and off the market at around $3.5 million and could be rented for $2,700 a night with or without an on-site manager and butler. The goings-on there were said by neighbors to be loud and to run to all hours of the night. About equal to the property’s annual tax bill, the settlement seems far too low for events that featured $5,000 poolside lounges and bottle service.

But more than that, Mr. Figueroa’s remark about unhappy, resentful faces echoes a usual complaint from those who run up against local regulations, to the effect that town officials are the enemy of fun. At any rate, they seem to say, even if the ordinances about what you can and cannot do on a residential property are clear-cut, anyone who wants to take away an owner’s toys is the Grinch.

If Mr. Figueroa truly wants never to see those unhappy, resentful faces, he might place his next East Hampton venture on a site properly zoned for such enterprises. So, too, might the operators of other businesses in residential zones take a minute to understand the law before they whine so loudly.

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