News (USA)

Man sues town for discriminating against his rainbow-colored business vehicles

Parking ticket
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An LGBTQ+ entrepreneur is suing the town of Amherst, New York and two of its representatives for allegedly discriminating against his business by issuing multiple zone violation fines against its vehicles, which include a rainbow-colored van.

Jeffrey Bellanca runs the Western New York (WYN) Gay & Lesbian Yellow Pages, a listing of regional businesses, individuals, and organizations that welcome LGBTQ+ clientele. He bought a home in Amherst two years ago. There, he regularly parked his van and his personal car, both of which had his company’s website written on their sides.

A few months after moving into the town, one of his vehicles was given three fines — one for overdue inspection, one for having a business logo on its side, and one for weighing too much for a residential driveway — WKBW reported.

When he addressed the fines in court, the court informed him that his car had violated local zoning laws as well.

Over the last two years, he has received seven ticketed fines totaling $2,250, some of which he received, he says, while he was at home eating lunch for 45 minutes.

He has sued the city and two of its representatives in federal court for discrimination. In response, Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa said that all commercial vehicles must follow the city’s zoning laws.

However, Bellanca’s attorney Lindy Korn says that the business owner’s neighbor has had commercial vehicles for a plumbing business parked in their front driveway for years without any violations or fines.

“I just thought the town wants me out,” Bellanca told the aforementioned news outlet. “I’ve just about had it, I feel so beat up.”

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