Earlier this week, Carroll Gardens' 22 2nd Street came to our attention when the DOB hit homeowner Gennaro Brooks-Church with a violation for excavating his front yard?which, according to the property rules that govern Carroll Gardens front yards, isn't actually his property. The extra layer of confusion in this situation comes from the DOB itself, which had already issued Brooks-Church a permit to excavate a cellar. Now PMFA points us to Brooks-Church's response. He places the blame squarely on the DOB and the neighbors who reported his renovation project: "When I applied for a permit to do the front storage room and got it I presumed I was ok (I wasn’t a veteran of DOB illogic yet). So I proceeded to dig....Using my green roof techniques I had visions of people with beautiful front yards and lots of storage space underneath. It seemed like a very good idea."
So what happened next?
Looking back the biggest mistake I made was trusting people to be as good willed as I was. One day an inspector showed up. At first he was apologetic. He said he only had to do it because somebody on the block called 311 and filed a complaint....A week later we were shut down for building on city property. The letter stated the DOB made a mistake and that my front yard was not mine. One thing I have learned, if you make a mistake with the DOB you pay for it. If the DOB makes a mistake, you pay for it. So I was not happy to hear the news, especially since I was almost done!...
I did the front dig thinking it would be quick, painless and relatively inexpensive. The storage would have been great. It was my little extravagance. My man cave. Now of course my girlfriend who is not pleased has suggested not so nicely that I go live in that @$#!! man cave.
Maybe he and the DOB inspectors should head down there and duke it out?
· Official website: Green Building in Brooklyn [Eco Brooklyn]
· Now We Can Stop Wondering! Here is the "Real Story" Behind 22 2nd Street [PMFA]
· Carroll Gardens Homeowner Can't Destroy Yard, DOB Says [Curbed]