Justice delayed (again) for Seneca-Babcock

The City of Buffalo’s Housing Court has given Peter Battaglia, the operator of Battaglia Demolition, an illegal concrete crushing operation, another pass for his derelict properties in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood. 

Today in court, Judge Patrick Carney decided to give Battaglia an additional 60 days to clean up or complete an alleged sale of the industrial property he owns on Seneca Street. It did not address his decrepit residential property on Peabody Street. The sale, which is only rumored to be in process, has been spoken about by Battaglia’s attorneys for the better part of a year, but no public action has taken place. 

In this case, justice for the neighborhood has been delayed for nearly a decade. But through it all, Clean Air member organizer Diane Lemanski has continued to fight. Even though it’s discouraging to see Battaglia receive deferential treatment and not be held to full account for his code violations, that has not stopped Diane from remaining steadfast in her mission and showing up to nearly every court date that is scheduled.

“Eleven years in housing court and the only thing that was accomplished today is Battaglia has two weeks to cut the grass that has been not been cut since April 2, 2018,” Diane said. “It saddens me that this property owner gets away with not doing one damn thing to give us a quality of life.”

Diane epitomizes what it means to be a member and organizer with the Clean Air Coalition. 

In addition, Battaglia owes the city $188,000 for the demolition of a building on the Seneca Street property that was ravaged by a mysterious fire in 2021. The demolition happened nearly a year ago and the fee has still not been paid. 

Separate from the case in city housing court, Battaglia is also in the midst of a public lawsuit brought by the state Attorney General’s Office in state Supreme Court. A contempt hearing is scheduled in July. 

Clean Air has ongoing legal expenses to ensure that the residents have a seat at the table during these court proceedings. Please support Diane and her efforts with Clean Air.

“Please help us in the Seneca-Babcock community by donating to the Clean Air Coalition so they can keep helping us fight this battle,” Diane said. “I thank you with all my heart for any donation.”

You can donate here: https://www.cacwny.org/donate/

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