Syracuse targets 'bad' houses to keep good people from moving out

This house at 118-120 Sabine Street, the scene of a June broad-daylight murder, is shut down for a year. Neighbors say it took too long for that to happen. Syracuse is proposing a new law to crack down on 'disorderly houses'

Syracuse Common Councilors are holding up their vote on new effort to cut down on disorderly houses, to give the public one more say on the proposed law.

Councilor Khalid Bey (4th District), the bill's sponsor, says the votes to pass the legislation are there, but there's confusion on how it will work, so he wants one more discussion session to explain, and to have residents ask questions.\

The new ordinance would let police act more quickly on neighborhood complaints about 'bad' and 'disruptive' situations, from loud parties to domestic violence to drug dealing. Complaints would bring a warning letter, and a further offense would bring a civil penalty with the Police Chief deciding if further action is needed. Bey says it's a shorter process than the '3 arrest' rule now in place, and would give police a quicker way to manage situations and bring some relief to neighborhoods.

Rich Pachulski, director of Syracuse United Neighbors, is encouraged, but wants to see more detail, including the timeline for getting complaints answered. He points to 118-120 Sabine Street, the scene of a broad daylight shooting murder last June.

SUN had complained about drug activity in the house for months, and after the shooting, says Pachulski, it took two more months to get it shut down for a year. Now, he's still complaining about trash left outside the house.

The hearing on the new Disorderly House law is set for Monday (October 26) at noon at Syracuse City Hall's Common Council Chambers.