Council Votes to Demolish Problem Property on Chancery Court

7 Chancery Ct. to be demolished

Despite desperate pleas from owner of 7 Chancery Ct. Christine Gonzalez not to take her home the Lynn City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to recommend the residence be taken by the city and demolished because it has become dangerous and detrimental to safety, health and well being of neighbors.

Council President Darren Cyr held up three pages of police reports dating back four years after a distraught Gonzalez pleaded, “Please don’t kick me out..I can’t go anywhere..I want to die in my home”.

Cyr and other Councilors seemed to have had enough of Gonzalez’s excuses and Cur reminded the homeowner that the Council gave her a chance a month ago to clean up the property and fix the problems of drug abuse, drug dealing, drug-related deaths that have plagued 7 Chancery Ct.

“There are three pages here including at the top a call for elderly abuse,” said an visibly angry Cyr. “We made a deal. No Councilor wants to take a house away from someone but it is completely unfair what you have done. You made a promise to us. You think it is easy for us to make a decision like this but we can’t have your neighbors continuing to live in fear.”

Ward Four Councilor Richard Colucci was also visibly shaken that Mrs. Gonzalez had put the Council in the position they found themselves in on Tuesday night.

“There have been 61 total police calls, 29 drug (related) arrests , and six overdose deaths in four years,” said Colucci. “I feel bad but it’s got to stop.”

At Large Councilor Brian LaPierre scolded Mrs. Gonzalez and her son, Richard, who both testified Tuesday night that neighbors were making a mountain out of a molehill.

“It is very disturbing the amount of police presence at this dwelling that is stressing an already underfunded police force,” said LaPierre. “Every time police, EMTs, fire show up we are depleting precious city resources we can not afford. We can not continue to go down this path. You (Gonzalez) seem to be delusional about what is going on at this property. You not once confronted the problem and what remedies you plan to use to fix these problems.”

At Large Councilor Buzzy Barton concurred with his colleagues and said he had received numerous calls about 7 Chancery Ct.

Two neighbors to 7 Chancery Ct., Vincent and Marion LaRusso both testified that over the past fours years nothing has improved at the property in question.

“We have lived on the street for four years and since this time we constantly see a steady stream of vehicles in and out of the property, ambulances, visitors arriving all hours of the day and night,” said Vincent LaRusso. “The police reports we’ve obtained show people purchase sell and use drugs at the property. There are nights when there is screaming, car horns, talking in the streets and the owner has been made well aware of the issues and has done nothing to lessen it.”

Marion LaRusso added that she and her husband are afraid to have friends and family visit their home because they can’t guarantee their safety.

“The drug activity has to be stopped,” she said. “We just want to live in peace and harmony.”

However, friends and tenants of the Gonzalezes, including the Gonzalezes themselves, said neighbors are blowing things out of proportion.

Richard Gonzalez, the owner’s son, challenged neighbors to produce all the police reports if things are so bad. This challenge was accepted when Cyr produced the six pages of police reports and Colucci read the amount of drug arrests and overdoses at the home mentioned earlier in this article.

Both Richard and Christine Gonzalez tried to convince the Council members that everything stemmed from one bad tenant and that tenant had since been evicted and a new couple with three children live peacefully in the home.

However, it seemed too little too late for the Gonzalezes as the Council made the tough decision to seize the property and order its demolition.


Price Rite’s petition for a beer and wine license

Also at Tuesday’s Lynn City Council meeting the Council voted unanimously in favor of Price Rite’s petition to seek a beer and wine license at its 391 Lynnway location.

Attorney for Price Rite, Sam Vitale, said the business has become an anchor is the shopping district for the past 10 years and, along with selling food, wanted to be able to offer beer and wine to customers in order to remain competitive.

“This is the first step in a three step process,” explained Vitale. “If we are supported by the Council then we would go to the (Lynn) License Commission. If we receive support there we would then have to go before the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. Many other city and towns are allowing beer and wine to be sold out of gas stations and small convenient stores. This is really in many ways a neighborhood store. While it is located in a business district it is adjacent to a large residential area and many of their customers still walk to the location to shop.”

Ward Six Councilor Peter Capano made the motion to support Price Rite’s petition saying he had talked with the attorney and owners and they had done a great job ten years ago transforming a dilapidated building into a nice store.

“They’ve been a great neighbor in the community and I’d like to help them out and help their business out,” said Capano.

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