A seemingly idyllic backyard patio behind a landmark West Village townhouse was hiding a sinister secret before an eagle-eyed neighbor got the owner busted by the city’s Buildings Department, officials said.
Lush grassy carpeting, white patio furniture and landscaping rocks actually masked an illegal excavation that reached as deep as 7 feet in some areas, sources told the Daily News.
Inspectors responding to a complaint at 35 Perry St. on Monday were shocked to find the fake floor suspended canopy-style over the dangerous ditch at the base of the 1852 structure, sources said.
The covert crater not only undermined the underpinning of the four-story building but also compromised the foundation of a wall shared with 37 Perry St., city engineers found. The building owner didn’t have an excavation permit.
Inspectors cited the owner for various safety violations, including lack of guardrails. They also found day laborers hiding in the house and a moving truck rented from Enterprise used to smuggle out debris, sources said.