Thursday, March 22, 2007

Add-on troubles in Little Neck

Could you imagine if the Daily News wrote about every building violation this way?

Home add-on wrecking area, residents say

"Most of the work has been done at night, the neighbors said. Because the tarp covers the work site, inspectors say they can't see any new work, and therefore can't issue violations on the approximately 20-foot extension."

Well, if they have a reasonable belief that illegal work is going on, DOB can get a court order to enter the property and inspect, but why go through all that trouble?

From the Times Ledger:

Tarp lets homeowner hide construction: Avella

In the meantime, a plea for some common sense from Councilman Avella was printed in the Queens Times:

Council Member Tony Avella recently joined Little Neck residents at a press conference to draw attention to the Department of Buildings’ (DOB) continued lack of ability to enforce illegal construction activity at 45-36 Browvale Lane. Avella stated, “Buildings continues to be a paper tiger when it comes to enforcing illegal construction activity. The owner of this property has demonstrated brazen disregard for the law and yet DOB seems powerless to take any corrective action.”

Although DOB issued a “Stop Work Order” in early October 2006, the owner has since substantially completed a rear extension on the property by simply utilizing a large blue tarp. Despite residents’ numerous calls to #311 and continued inspection attempts by DOB, the owner has continued to work unabated.

“A little common sense could go along way in curbing this illegal activity,” added Avella. “As the saying goes - if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. The same can be said for illegal construction.”

“Over the span of six months the neighbors have often seen and heard the illegal construction occurring. Given this length of time, I do not understand how DOB was unable to observe the same illegal activity.”


Anonymous said...

"Lindquist said Shafiq Ur Rahman, the owner of the home being renovated, 'has a constitutional right to privacy and can bar our inspectors from entering his home to inspect the backyard. Eventually he will take the tarp down.'"

What about the constitutional rights of the neighboring property owners? Don't they have property rights also? They certainly have the right to have their property value not reduced by a neighbor. How does building illegally differ from the neighbor vandalizing others' homes.

"At that time, she said, the Buildings Department will be able to observe any work from the neighbor's window, take pictures, compare them to pictures taken when inspectors issued the original stop-work order and issue any new violations if warranted."

But, will the violator be required to demolish the offending structure? Will the violator be required to compensate the neighbors for all damages inflicted?

Will the neighbor be jailed for a felony violation of a stop work order?

Will the DOB ever gain any integrity, competence or spine?

Anonymous said...

Naw, that is a flimsy excuse, everyone knows that. If the new owner can put in two or three families into the house, you can bet they can exactly fit the profile the clubhouse wants everywhere (except their neighborhood and God forbid where they really live in their second homes)

Of couse you can get a helicopter.

BTW, once a building is up, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it (unless, of course, you live in Manhattan.) Little doubt someone at buildings suggested for him to do it.

Where is Queens Civic Congress?!?!

Anonymous said...

How about a photo? I mean, that is the entire point. If the newspaper can waste acres of space on image after image of some mindless teenage heart throb, can't they at least photo these outrages for the world to see.

Oh, Dan Bertrand wrote it. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

A class action Article 78 is needed to be filed against DOB!