Thursday, June 6, 2013
Judge slaps down self-certification
From the Daily News:
A state judge has ordered the city to re-examine the flawed process that allowed a developer to build an allegedly illegal — and notorious — building in Homecrest.
Judge Yvonne Lewis sided with neighbors who have argued for seven years that building owner Joseph Druzieh and his architect lied to the city when they said his 53-foot house — built over an existing bungalow — was merely an “alteration” rather than a new structure.
The Department of Buildings and the Board of Standards and Appeals had rubberstamped the permits for 1882 E. 12th St. because the architect, Shlomo Wygoda, had “self-certification” rights — a professional courtesy given to, and sometimes abused by, prolific builders.
Lewis did not have the power to order Druzieh to tear down his unfinished tower at 1882 E. 12th St., but she told him to prepare to do so, according to a lawyer who was there when the ruling was handed down.