Monday, July 21, 2008

Taking back the backyards

Homeowners in Oakland Gardens lucky enough to have properties that flow into a city-owned nature trail with a colorful history may be forced to rein in their expansive backyards.

City to warn Oakland Gardens homes that encroach on trail

The Parks Department believes the yards - some boasting swimming pools, tool sheds and jungle gyms - may cross property lines and encroach on the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway.

Results of a land survey of the area ordered by Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski are due this week.

The parkway, one of the country's first concrete roads, is now a pedestrian and bicycle trail that emerges from Cunningham Park. A narrow strip of woodland runs alongside it.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope they are also reining in the owners of property in Holliswood where they have taken Grand Central Parkway land!!

Anonymous said...

The other side of this coin may be that residents may not have encroached if the city had ever properly maintained its property abutting theirs.

Anonymous said...

There are houses alongside the railroad on the north side of Eliot Avenue that extended their backyards onto the railroad's property.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the city's finally doing something about this. Whoda thunk it would've taken one complaint to the Parks Commissioner for Parks to actually follow up?

There's no justification whatsoever for anyone to encroach onto this beautiful space.

Watch, one of these land thieves is going to use the fact that he's been using the land for 10 years, so he feels he's legally allowed to keep it.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how the city is responding to taxpaying citizens taking city property. Why is it okay for the CITY to take the private property of taxpaying businesses like in Willets Point?

Very unfair.

I say good for those homeowners that have enjoyed the city's property as their own. The city deserves it. I'll bet they took better care of it than the city would've.

A Better NYC said...

The only reason the city is making an issue out of property lines is because they are considering selling this propoerty to developers.

Unfortunately instead of having a few extra feet of backyard space, these homeowners are now going to have a 5 story piece of crap adjecent to their property.

Anonymous said...

A Better NYC,
you are ignorant of the issue here. The Vanderbilt Motor Parkway (which is now part of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway) is/was/and shall remain a public Greenway. (the western section of the Vanderbilt has been preserved as a bike path from Horace Harding and 209th to Union Turnpike and Winchester Ave and it has been such since Robert Moses ran the Vanderbilts out of business)
For those of us who use it all the time, we know what a beautiful and tranquil walk or bike ride you can have on this pathway, It truly is one of Flushing Township's Gems.
For the record the neighborhood north of the Vanderbilt is Oakland Gardens, the nieghborhood to the south is Hollis Hills. I live in Hollis Hills and some of the people in question are my neighbors. But there is nothing that justifies taking public park land to make more private space for yourself. The Parks Department should do a better job of preventing encroachment. I applaud them for doing the right thing here.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they can get away with Adverse possession. If they extended their yards more than 10 years ago, they technicall can own it

New York Real Prop. A&P.L. §501-551.

Of course this law was just changed, but if they did it more than 10 years before that..

Anonymous said...

A better NYC is totally ignorant of the facts regarding the Motor Parkway . This has been the property of NYC since the 1930's and has been a bicycly path for about 45 years. It became part of the Queens Greenway several years . The homeowners who have illegally used NYC property without paying taxes enjoyed larger backyards on land that was meant to be the buffer between their property and the Greenway/ Bicycle path. I have been using this for over 40 years , ever since I was able to ride a two wheeler on the path