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Copper Beech Village Resident Denied Request to Rent for Daughter’s Illness

The Village Board denies Lori Patton's request to rent her condominium to help cover her daughter’s medical costs.

The unanimously passed a motion Monday night denying a resident's request to rent out her living space to pay for her daughter’s medical costs.

Trustee Gerard Crean made the motion and said that while it was a tough decision, he believed it would help protect property values.

"It’s a very difficult motion to make, but it’s a precedent I don’t want to open this Board up to,” Crean said. "We’ve made huge commitments to encourage first time homeowner opportunity and I think if we were to grant the opportunity, it would be a step in the wrong direction."

Lori Patton had the Board in October seeking permission to relieve some of the financial burdens of her two-year-old daughter’s rare blood disorder. Her plan was to temporarily move out of her condominium to be closer to a children’s hospital.  

The Board said it would look into it because it was a special situation, though policies say Copper Beech Village residents are prohibited from renting the space.

Patton told the Board last month that her daughter receives costly blood transfusions every few weeks and must undergo a bone marrow transplant. 

"It’s certainly been a financial strain, and we also don’t want the property value to go down in the community,” Patton said. "We’d like special permission to rent it out for a year."

Do you agree with the Board's decision? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

Melanie November 16, 2011 at 05:00 PM
They want to uphold property values? Then why not have an agreement with the condo owner that the board gets to make final approval of the renter before renting? What selfish and money-hungry people the Copper Beech Board are. Terrible.
Through the Looking Glass November 16, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I have to agree with John on this too. I truly sympathize with the family, but this would start a precedent that would have no bounds. Who would be the one to determine the extenuating circumstances next time?
Edward Smith November 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Although it stated in an earlier article that the two year old is receiving blood transfusions at Stonybrook, there was an indication that the family may have to relocate somewhere near an as yet unspecified children's hospital. It is none of my business but I find the board's decision utterly heartless. I cannot think of any other motivation for it besides greed. It is so blatantly cruel that I feel I must be missing part of the story. Is there more to it?
John November 16, 2011 at 10:45 PM
Edward I do not see how this is greed? Please explain.
Amy Keyes November 17, 2011 at 12:59 AM
I don't see how approving the rental request would open the Board up to anything other than reviewing special requests to rent on a case-by-case basis. It's not as though they would be approving all future rental requests. There are exceptions to every rule, and it sounds to me like this scenario should be an exception.
Melanie November 17, 2011 at 01:11 AM
To John: I personally see it as greed because they want to uphold and protect property values. Sounds like greed to me. Money before people.
Joe November 17, 2011 at 01:17 AM
"I sorry but don't sign the contract if you don't like the terms."- A bit harsh, don't you think, John? Lori Patton was supposed to know that her daughter would contract a rare blood disorder when she signed the contract? So now she should just suck it up? You write that "times are tough for everyone." Yeah, people are out of work and having trouble making ends meet. This is a bit different. Lori's daughter needs a bone marrow transplant. That's not "tough for everyone." That's a devastating situation for any family and the Village Board should have voted with its heart last night, instead of by the book. Trustee Crean, you're right. Granting Lori a single-year to rent out her condo does set a "precedent," but you know what? If that precedent means that the board rules with compassion for the next 20 mothers who come before the board asking for help to alleviate some of the cost for medical care for their sick child, I'd say that's a pretty good precedent to set.
natalie baker November 17, 2011 at 01:47 AM
Who is going to rent it anyway with all the other apartments the Mayor is forcing on the Village?
John November 17, 2011 at 01:54 AM
How about selling instead? Because they have been trying well before this new issue and have not once dropped their price. Is that greed? I moved here because we could not rent. I came from a community that rented and it became a major problem and yes I could not sell because of this. We signed a contract stating that we can not rent. For someone who has to chose the location for this transfusion and are unclear if it is even needed they sure want out. There is way more to this story then what is written here. My comments may be harsh but I know more. I they needed to travel out of the state that would be one thing but Stony Brook. Really?
mary michaels November 17, 2011 at 02:39 AM
Well guess what Johnny boy, you got a whole boat load of rental apartments moving in a block away from you on the 4 corners and over there on West Avenue too. Enjoy your fantasy while it lasts young man. When you wake up, I suggest you lock up and run for the hills!
CondoFeed November 17, 2011 at 09:04 AM
I belive the board were completely wrong in their belief that rental units would lower property values. See full article here: http://condofeed.com/2011/11/17/patchogue-village-board-completely-wrong-in-believing-rental-units-reduce-property-values/
Michael CJ November 17, 2011 at 01:25 PM
I agree with the decision here. A contract is a contract, and this was a purchase contract and a public one as well. All the purchasers made a contract with the town, which they would not rent out their properties. This being said, where is the village fund-raiser for this family, where is the copper beech fund-raiser for this family? Editor please just us more details, so we as a community can help a fellow member of the community.
David Kennedy November 17, 2011 at 02:21 PM
Amy, you said it best. What ever happened to the idea of helping those in need in our community? As you imply, the only precedence set by allowing her request is that our village is willing to go an extra step to help some one with a legit need. There is the "letter of ther law" and the "spirit of the law." Where's the spirit?
problem solver November 17, 2011 at 03:55 PM
After reading the original article and the follow up article it appears that we are missing all the facts It is not fair to punish the Village board or the Copper Beech board based on hear-say considering no one was witness to these meetings or presented with the evidence to Lori's claim. I think that Michael CJ hit the nail on the head with his suggestion to hold a fund raiser for this family.This way Lori Patton supporters can help her with the financial support she needs without creating a financial burdon on her fellow neighbors. Maybe Lori Patton can use this site to reach out to her supporters to get this fund raiser started. See --- "Problem Solved"
nichole November 17, 2011 at 08:23 PM
The almighty board should mediate occupant needs on a case by case basis to KEEP up property values. Should this owner stratigically walk away from her unit because she cannot sell will not benefit the community. Should she rent some where else and not pay common charges is a detriment to the other individual owners because banks won't lend to buyers in projects that have even a minimal number of owners 30 days in arrears.
Edward Smith November 17, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Thank you Condo Feed, I followed your link and found your arguments logical and persuasive. In this light the board's insistence that the Patton family will have to take a huge loss if they need to go out of state for the bone marrow transplant is not only cruel but misdirected as well. Stupidity and Fear, they go together so well.
Edward Smith November 17, 2011 at 10:14 PM
I agree it seems we might be missing some facts. I stated that in my first post. I have been unable to find the Patton's phone number on line. John has added a new fact, although unsubstantiated, he claims that they are trying to sell the condo and are holding out for their price. It only makes me think they have their backs against the wall. How do you think they will be placing more of a financial burden on their neighbors, by renting their condo or asking them for money?
mary michaels November 18, 2011 at 03:19 AM
My, my, my Mr. Condo Canuck, welcome to Patchogue where none of the usual rules apply and property values go down the ole crapper as you get closer to the waterfront. We have almost 50% rentals here already and our property values are near the lowest on the island. Move down here and your Canadian Goose will be cooked!
Edward Smith November 18, 2011 at 01:07 PM
It just occurred to me John, that if they tried to sell, but wouldn't lower their price, they are fighting to maintain property values. Had they lowered their price property values would go down. Banks would be unwilling to lend money on any other property in Copper Beach if the record showed that prices were going down. To maintain your property value you might be better off letting them rent rather than forcing them into a firesale.
LNH November 18, 2011 at 02:39 PM
As a resident of Copper Beech Village, I find it interesting that one neighbor commented that a majority of the community does not support rentals, when in fact, a survey conducted last year showed strong support for rentals. Ms. Patton should contact an attorney willing to pursue this issue. While I understand the Village of Patchogue's concerns regarding rentals, an abosolute prohibition is not the answer, moreover, it creates potential liability for the town. Specifically, the Bylaws, include an exception to the rental prohibition. Homeowners who purchased their property through the LI Partnership are allowed to rent for a period of one year for circumstances, including family illness. This does not extend to homeowners who purchased their homes at market value. Therefore, allowing 50% of the units to rent, while the others cannot enjoy this same privilege is questionable legally. The Village should stop being short sighted and allow rentals, with restrictions in the new developments. For example, only a certain percentage of rentals per year and all with Board approval. This is quite common with condo associations. Across the country absolute prohibitions on rentals are being struck down by courts as too restrictive on property rights. Further, regarding property values, have you all seen the listings lately? Property values are already low. The town should equitably address this issue, it is not resolved, or face litigation from frustrated homeowners.
Amy Keyes November 18, 2011 at 03:23 PM
This incident deals with a larger, long-brewing issue in Patchogue and Long Island a whole -- contempt for the renting community. Perhaps if we were not feared or slandered, but instead seen as the valuable contributors to the community that so many of us are and have been for years, situations like these could be handled more easily, and with less tension. While I'm disappointed with the Board's decision, part of me understands that given the incredibly outspoken anti-renter population in Patchogue, particularly since the approval of the Four Corners project, their hands were somewhat tied to come out against approving the rental of one of the units at Copper Beech. Copper Beech Village is often used as the poster child for what the future of housing in Patchogue (and Long Island) should be. And while I agree, that they are beautiful units, and am happy for the people who were lucky enough to be able to buy them, those units were sold during a very different economic time. My husband and I grew up in Patchogue and have rented here for 4 years, we've outgrown our house and would love to upgrade. Unfortunately, student loan debt among other factors make saving a down payment anytime soon impossible. We would LOVE to rent one of the Copper Beech units! It would fit our needs (and probably the needs of countless others like us) perfectly. And what would be the harm caused by it? I just don't understand the disdain for renters.
greg horoski November 19, 2011 at 02:39 AM
Whats wrong with self interest? The board is comprised of owners, why shouldn't they look to protect their homes? Run a fundraiser. Yes you can. Run down the neighborhood? No u can't! Why doesn't she have health insurance? Owns a home and no insurance, sounds fishy!

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