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.