Carroll Gardens' courtyards are sacred to locals?and they belong to the city rather than to the homeowners whose houses they front?so any change to one of the yards is a match to the 'hood's fuse. Exhibit A: the controversy over a neighborhood school's use of its courtyard as a parking lot. Maybe homeowner Gennaro Brooks-Church missed that kerfuffle while renovating his 22 2nd Street house, which doubles as a show house for his company, Eco Brooklyn, and is meant to showcase the "best green building practices for brownstone renovations."
Still, notes PMFA, that doesn't really explain how Brooks-Church managed to get a permit to excavate the front yard of his house. The Department of Buildings issued the permit to create a "cellar w/ extension at front yard for storage purposes." (Alas?we were hoping for something more interesting.) The DOB recently remembered that the yard doesn't actually belong to Brooks-Church and slapped a violation on the site. The Borough Commissioner has plans to revoke the permit, and Brooks-Church probably doesn't have much of a case to make for ownership of the courtyard. Guess digging up the yard is officially not a best practice for brownstone renovations.
· Carroll Gardens 'Eco Brooklyn' House Gets Stop Work Order for Digging Under Publicly-Owned Front Yard [PMFA]