From the NY Times:
It had been a week of furious dawn-to-dark activity building a farm high above an industrial stretch of Queens: directing traffic along Northern Boulevard, hoisting truckloads of growing mix up to the roof and raking it over drainage and protective material. Once the eight-inch layer of engineered soil stretched over the 40,000-square-foot space, the volunteers could begin planting the 9,000 seedlings awaiting their new home.
But all that came to a sudden halt on Friday afternoon, courtesy of the New York City Department of Buildings, which issued a stop-work order on the installation. According to department records, organizers of the project, an ambitious for-profit farm called Brooklyn Grange, had not secured permits and engineering plans showing the roof could handle nearly a million pounds of dirt, which will weigh even more when wet and rooted with vegetables.
“Our enthusiasm to get plants in for the season outpaced our paperwork, and we are doing everything we can with our architect and engineer to work this out,” Ben Flanner, the project’s farmer, said in a prepared statement. “In the meantime, we are complying fully with the stop-work order and anticipate filing the necessary paperwork on Tuesday morning. We are eagerly awaiting the go-ahead to resume installing.”
When that go-ahead will come is, like the suspended farm, up in the air. The building, at 37-18 Northern Boulevard, already had a stop-work order for interior work; now the notice affixed to the front door applies to the roof, too. A small handwritten note beneath it reads: “Sorry — no farm work today. See you soon!”
Officials from the Buildings Department need to determine what permits were required, if any, and if the building’s structure can support the soil and plantings, said Tony Sclafani, a spokesman for the department. Engineers plan to visit as early as Monday.
Photo from the Brooklyn Grange