The city’s failure to collect fines on thousands of properties with unpaid building violations in Marine Park, Madison, Sheepshead Bay, and surrounding neighborhoods makes a mockery of zoning laws, leading some locals to call for some Wild West justice at a civic meeting on May 17.
“Why can’t they get a posse together and collect?” said Fran Minichiello of Sheepshead Bay.
The lax enforcement of so-called environmental control board violations — which the Department of Buildings slaps on developers when they fail to comply with construction or zoning rules — was the subject of a special meeting of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association in Marine Park last week, where residents grilled officials from the buildings department and the Department of Finance, which is responsible for collecting the fines.
There are 2,366 properties with open violations in the territory of Community Board 18, which includes parts of Marine Park, Mill Basin, Canarsie, and other neighborhoods. There are 5,518 total open violations in that area, meaning some properties have more than one, according to the Department of Buildings.
Within Community Board 15, which encompasses Madison, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, and other areas, there are 1,941 properties with open violations, and 4,505 total such violations among 31,884 properties, according to the department. The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association includes parts of both CB15 and CB18.
The Department of Finance did not respond to a request for information on how much money’s worth of violations currently remains unpaid in Brooklyn, but a response to a freedom of information law request from the association said there were more than $247 million in outstanding violations in the borough in August 2017.