SOUTHINGTON — Parties, weddings and “anything goes” weekends could end at a DeFashion Street home if a judge agrees to town officials’ request for an injunction.
Paul Bedard, Southington assistant town attorney, wants the court to prohibit any paid parties, large events and house rental to more than two people. He filed the request Wednesday.
The request for an injunction follows nearly 20 police calls for noisy parties, loud music or vandalism at the 10,000 square foot mansion.
Gary Levine owns the six-acre property according to town records and is listed as the only defendant on court filings. Reached Friday at his business, Bedford Bagel & Bakery in New York, Levine said he was too busy to talk about the case.
His son Adam Levine said this week that the 375 DeFashion St. property is a family house since they have rental property in the area. The family’s rental properties and bakery were struggling, which prompted Adam Levine to start renting the Southington house. He hoped to reach an agreement with the town to continue rentals with better supervision.
“We’re all trying to do the right thing, we’re not trying to do anything illegal,” Adam Levine said Wednesday.
He complained that the town was singling him out while other homeowners are able to rent their homes through Airbnb, an online short-term rental service.
A search of Airbnb shows rooms, apartments and houses available for rent in Southington.
If he’s not allowed to rent out the house, Adam Levine said the town should drop his taxes to zero.
The house is appraised at $736,000.
Is 375 DeFashion St. a boarding house?
Town zoning regulations consider a dwelling a boarding house if the owner occupies a part of it and offers room or board to more than two people. Boarding houses are allowed with a permit in some residential zones but 375 DeFashion St. isn’t in one of them.
Even if allowed by a town permit, a tourist home or a boarding house can’t have more than six people according to town regulations attached to the court filing.
The town’s complaint references police reports on noise complaints from parties with as many as 200 people this past summer. Bedard wrote that violates Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders limiting outdoor gatherings to 100 people and indoor parties to 25.
Bedard also included advertisements for “anything goes weekend” parties at the house in his request for an injunction. Men had to pay $100, couples $75 and single women were free. Rooms started at $150 per night. Bedard also included a list of rules for such parties that included such requirements for participants as bringing their own sex accessories, getting tested for COVID-19 and shaving.
One such party in June had such loud music that the police were called and found the driveway lined with 30 cars. Adam Levine, the organizer of the weekends, told police he’d turn down the music according to a police report.
On Thursday, Adam Levine said he’s had events with about five friends from the New York City area. Each of his family members have cars which fill the driveway, he said.
Adam Levine and his house manager, Fatih Saat, said they’d been mislead by Airbnb tenants who said they’d abide by the 16-person limit but then brought large groups that trashed the house.
Cease and desist
On Aug. 14, Town Planner Rob Philips sent a cease and desist letter to Gary Levine. The letter instructed Gary Levine to cease “allowing the property located at 375 DeFashion Street to be used as a boarding house.”
According to Bedard’s injunction request this week, a cease and desist letter to Gary Levine in mid-August failed to stop parties at the house. He included photos of party buses in the driveway from Sept. 1 when police were called for a large party on DeFashion Street.
The parties violated pandemic restrictions and local zoning code, Bedard wrote.
Adam Levine said Thursday that he stopped renting out the house after receiving the town’s letter and turned down a wedding party that would have brought in several thousand dollars.
No attorney was listed for Gary Levine in court documents.