A Springs homeowner has been charged with 16 housing and zoning code violations, including overcrowding, and unlawful possession of a deer, which he allegedly kept as a pet.
East Hampton Town officials charged Angel Otavalo with three counts of having no smoke detector, one count of having no carbon monoxide detector, six counts of failing to have a certificate of occupancy for various rooms, two counts of construction without a building permit (one for a pool and another for a volleyball court), one count of building a shed without a permit, two counts of no egress for the bedrooms in the basement and one count of using an extension cord in lieu of permanent electrical wiring.
Otavalo was also charged by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police with unlawful possession of wildlife. Officials took the deer away for rehabilitation.
Reached by phone late Wednesday, Otavalo, who said he spoke and understood only Spanish, declined to comment on the charges. He said through an interpreter that he had hired a lawyer, but declined to provide a name.
According to a news release issued late Wednesday by East Hampton’s public safety director, David A. Betts, town ordinance enforcement officers went to Otavalo’s house on Tuesday after receiving reports of possible overcrowding and of a deer being kept in the backyard.
According to the news release, ordinance enforcement officers saw eight vehicles parked in the driveway, and a subsequent inspection of the house found that the basement had been illegally converted into several bedrooms and an office.
The release also stated that town records show the property was listed as having three bedrooms, but the inspectors found it had been converted to a seven-bedroom house. The basement was also listed as a recreation room under construction, and the building permit had expired several years ago.
In the backyard, inspectors found the deer on a makeshift leash, the release said.
“The deer, which appeared unafraid of human contact, had around its neck a dog collar that was roped to a steel rod in the ground, and, apparently, it was being kept as a pet,” the release said.
Otavalo, who authorities said was at the house at the time of the inspection, will be required to appear in East Hampton Justice Court at an undetermined date, according to Kelly Kampf, the town’s assistant director of public safety and who took part in the inspection and investigation.
— With Jean-Paul Salamanca