Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanks a lot (line)!

From the Times Newsweekly:

The transparent covering was installed above the patio area in the rear of their 65th Place dwelling, but the owner of the home abutting their residence protested, claiming encroachment on their easement. This led to an ongoing feud between the property owners which not only led to a costly lawsuit but also legal action by several city agencies.

James Chu told the Times Newsweekly in a phone interview that he and his wife bought their 65th Place residence in November 2004. In the years since they moved in, their neighbor’s home was constructed; the residence directly abuts the Chu home and extends several feet adjacent to their rear yard.

Lot-line windows were also built in the rear of their neighbor’s home; according to James Chu, the windows violate the rules and regulations of the building code enforced by the city Department of Buildings (DOB).

The Chus recently installed the transparent awning above their patio area, leaving two feet of space from their neighbor’s building. Following the installation, James Chu noted, their neighbor claimed that the awning violated their easement, which was later found to extend over the Chus’ backyard.

James Chu told this paper that neither he nor his wife knew about the extended easement prior to and during the closing on their home back in November 2004.

“Meanwhile, the DOB is auditing our permits for the erection of a clear awning at the rear of our building,” Elizabeth Chu added in an email to the Times Newsweekly, “and the Environmental Control Board imposed a fine against us for having what everyone else on our block and neighborhood seems to have with or without a permit. Apparently, they think that we violated the law when we put up a standard weather protection awning for which they issued a building permit, but that they made no error when they approved my neighbor’s lot line windows without the fire protection mandated by the building code.”

Buildings Department records indicated that multiple complaints were filed on each of their residences back in October. An examination of the records found that the complaints against the Chus’ property were determined to be unfounded, while no action had yet to be taken by DOB inspectors on their neighbor’s property.

How is it that a reporter was able to take a photo of the lot line windows but the DOB couldn't access them? I guess it's more important to give violations to homeowners whose houses were destroyed than to address this.


Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, Queens. How lovely.

Anonymous said...

The inspectors sometime do their inspecting using google earth.....

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculousness - a permit to put up a simple awning - never heard of that before! The adjacent building should be torn back 2 feet to comply with the code - the city approved the construction - then they should be sued? The Chu house should be awarded damages for what occurred to them and is occurring - how do sell that house now? Get a good attorney - not a 99c store one!

Big Hairy Balls said...

And my friends ask me why I didn't want to spend my retirement in NYC!?!? Long live Queens Crapper! Death to Gaza! Long live my amazing NYC teacher's pension!

Anonymous said...

Once it's built, it's built and there is nothing the Buildings Department can do about it except maybe issue a violation.

Anonymous said...

The easement should have been appeared in the deed and it should have been available to the Chu's before the closing. The Chu's also should have immediately acted to stop the construction on the lot line when it started.

Rick said...

Wow, there really is no moderation on comments, is there?:
"And my friends ask me why I didn't want to spend my retirement in NYC!?!? Long live Queens Crapper! Death to Gaza! Long live my amazing NYC teacher's pension!"

Anonymous said...

As a VN vet please let me welcome you to the US of A where thanks to folks like QC free speech isn't shut down down to avoid "offending" people such as yourself. Long live Queens Crapper! Death to Gaza! Long live my amazing NYC teacher's pension. Oh and Rick.... Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!