Saturday, November 10, 2007

College Point catastrophe

A lifelong College Point homeowner was slapped with a vacate order by the Department of Buildings last week after construction work in an adjoining lot undermined his retaining wall, causing much of his backyard to begin to sink.

Kevin Stout said demolition work on two homes next door to his father's house at 122-16 14th Ave. resulted in damage to the retaining wall that lines James Stout's property. Heavy rains Saturday exacerbated the damage, shifting concrete sidewalks in the elder Stout's backyard and causing several feet of soil to wash away.

"They didn't have the permits to do this," Kevin Stout said. "They just do what they want and pay the fine later."

Stout, who often tends to the home for his father who is in his 80s, said damages to the property could be in excess of $50,000.


Anonymous said...

"They just do what they want and pay the fine later."

Isn't that the motto of the NY City construction industry?

Anonymous said...

For all I know, those responsible may be illegals. How's about launching an investigation and deporting them, or throwing them in the slammer for work w/o permits? A miniscule fine is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

You would think that the excavators, contractors and architects would know about the DOB's Special Enforcement Plan (See, Fact Sheet dated October 26, 2007 on the DOB website). New Enforcement Teams: Special Enforcement Teams; Professional Certification Review & Audits and Excavations Inspections & Audits.

It does not appear to be a deterrent, now does it?

Where were the eyes of the DOB?

Unfortunately, there's a long, exasperating, expensive and seemingly never ending road ahead for these victims. They will undoubtedly be told by the DOB that it's a civil matter. The owner’s insurance carrier will not cover the damage because it’s an earth movement. The owner of the project more than likely does not have the liability insurance (which now may be a requirement) to cover the damages. Ask the excavator for his insurance information. Good Luck.

Taxpayer said...

This damaged property will probably be up for sale soon enough.

With its problems, the price will be cheap.

So, the question becomes: Did the builder pay DOB to turn a blind eye to the shoddy work, so the property would soon be available?

Where are the law enforcement agencies when things like this happen?

Anonymous said...

While Pat Lancaster continues to cajole us
and feed us sugar pills......
reassuring us that the DOB is "improving"......
we all know better !

This is an agency that is totally out of control.....
a paper tiger when it comes to enforcement.

But when it comes to accomodating developers.....
DOB will drop to its knees any time !