Bottom Town squatter questions attempted demolition of his structure by Kingstown Town Board
December 9, 2022
Bottom Town squatter questions attempted demolition of his structure by Kingstown Town Board

A resident of Rose Place (Bottom Town) is questioning a move by the Kingstown Town Board (KTB) to remove items, and attempt to demolish structures outside the residence where he lives.

Quinn Andrews explained to SEARCHLIGHT that he occupies a residence on North River Road with the permission of the owner, and has been doing so for the last 14 years. It is from this location that he plies his trade as a vendor, selling an assortment of items including clothes, shoes, toys and other knick knacks.

He said on Tuesday, December 6 around 3:00 p.m, officials of the Town Board arrived at the residence with four trucks, in the company of members of the Special Services Unit (SSU), and forcefully removed a van seat, a table with products, and a bench which were located on the perimeter of the property.

Andrews said he did not object to the removal of the items as he admitted they were impeding traffic. However, he said when the team attempted to remove the wooden shed attached to the residence, he raised an objection.

He said the shed was placed there to shield the items from the sun, and he believes it is not a hindrance to traffic or pedestrians.

“They pass by and throw dem word and say ‘yo gine move just now’… yesterday [Tuesday] they fulfil this hidden agenda they have for me. He leave and went under the shed and grabbing my things.”

Andrews said when he inquired about the reason for the demolition of the structure attached to the residence, an official from the Town Board said it is part of the Kingstown clean-up project.

During the official opening of the new Vegetable Markets in November, Warden of the Town Board, Clayton Burgin explained that the boundaries of Kingstown extend as far as Edinboro on the western side, and Sion Hill Bay on the eastern side. He said that all these areas fall under the jurisdiction of the KTB.

Andrews said the KTB officials accused him of being a squatter and threatened to return to the residence to demolish a pigeon pen outside the residence, and pull down the shed. He confessed the encounter has left him feeling anxious and worried about his livelihood.

“I get here willing, lawfully and by the owner. I not in no way, I not on no government property or in front of nobody building selling anything. I on a private structure.”

Andrews also said he feels as if he is being stereotyped based on his criminal history, admitting that he was deported from the United States in 2008 after being convicted of drug-related activity.

“Everytime I try to keep myself busy to avoid the criminal behaviour, I getting pull down,” he complained.

Andrews said when he visited the Town Board office on Bay Street the day after the demolition to “get some justice” his request to speak with the Warden was denied, and he was asked to leave the office.

SEARCHLIGHT contacted the office of the Kingstown Town Board to obtain an official comment; however, up to the time of going to press there was no response.

RELATED ARTICLE: While the Kingstown Town Board (KTB) has implemented a prohibition on street vending, some persons have been using ‘creative’ ways to get around the prohibition.