Skip to comments.Bronx family livid after developer builds apartment 12 inches from their home
Posted on 01/18/2013 9:24:56 AM PST by lowbridge
A new apartment building is being constructed just 12 inches from a familys home in The Bronx, and the houses owners are fuming mad.
This is what I get to see. Nice, scoffed Fernando Justiniano, 49, yesterday as he drew open his dining-room curtains to reveal the monstrosity of gray cinder blocks a foot from his home at 3525 Bruckner Blvd.
Justiniano and his wife, Patty, 44, said that when they bought the Pelham Bay home for $200,000 about 13 years ago, it overlooked another residence with a pristine yard.
Its preposterous. The fact that [the developer] can build that close I dont understand, Patty said.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
All part of Plank #1 of the Communist Manifesto to eliminate private property.
That has already happened a while ago...
I’m all for private owners doing what they wish on their own property but in this case it clearly impacts the neighbors negatively.
Exactly, you don't understand. If you want to control the property, own the property.
So, they built to the line and he has about a foot setback? Sheesh.
Its preposterous. The fact that [the developer] can build that close I dont understand, Patty said”
Google the address in the article then do a street scene and view the vacant lot. Go 3 houses to the right and see the exact same setting (house/apt. 12” apart) that she’s whining about.
It’s preposterous that she had no clue that it could be done in her neighborhood when it exists 3 doors away.
I’m confused. The home owner insists that the apartment building should be require to have at least three feet of side yard, which presumably would give at least six feet between houses. Yet the newly constructed building is 1 foot from his house.
Doesn’t this mean that his house is no more than twelve inches from the property line? How can he demand 3 feet on the other side when he obviously is not compliant with that himself?
Why can’t the developer build 12” from his lot if the homeowner can build twelve inches from his? The kitchen window is right near the lot line also.
According to the zoning rules, buildings can be built right up to the property line. If that leaves them only a 12 inch gap, then the existing building is only 12 inches from the property line. Tough luck.
am I misunderstanding something? If the developer built an apartment 12 inches from his property line and it overlooks this guys house, doesn’t that mean that this guy also built to the property line?
If this guy had a 3 foot yard, then the developer coudn’t have come any closer than 3 feet.
or is it just me?
So-called public housing was designed as a way around zoning changes ~ because it was gub'mnt doing the trick the SFH occupants could do little about it.
What you are seeing in this case is another abuse of government ~ and for no discernable purpose.
The whiner’s house is forth to left from the old brick apt. building in photo above.
Because it's the Bronx
When I was just a little kid the people who bought the lot next door to ours dug their basement and started the footings while we were on vacation.
They put the home right on the boundary, within inches of the line, they couldn’t have trimmed the lawn against the house unless they were in our yard. Boy were they mad when dad informed them of the 25’ setback on all buildings.
Making them dig out their poured footings and move the house over started a 14 year Hatfield/McCoy situation between our families. Of course them having to make a 4 point turn to get into their garage on the other side of the house was kind of funny, since they also discovered (from a phone call by dad I think) couldn’t have a garage door facing the road.
Taught me a lifelong lesson. It pays to read the covenants, deed restrictions, and building codes BEFORE you buy or start building.
Has the zoning changed? Or has the zoning remained the same?
If it’s the later (and it probably is)...boo-freaking-hoo!
It’s called due diligence.
Regardless, it seems to me like a great time to sell. Offer ‘right of first refusal’ to the next door developer. You’ll probably get more than the $200K you originally paid and the ability to find a nicer street on which to live. Just check the zoning regs first. Capiche?!
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zh_resdistricts.shtml ~ read this. About halfway through you find out about CONTEXTUAL ZONING and this new building is zoned R7, and it’s butt up against an R5 ~ which is low rise ~ R5 doesn’t have a 3 foot setback ~ if any at all. Looks like zero lot line construction is allowed ~ however, R7 of any kind is prohibited in this context where there are low rise dwellings in the immediate vicinity. They have some other detailed standards, but if some minor eyeballing calls into question the context it’s probably pretty much the case somebody violated some serious stuff with the new building. Those standards are most likely overriden by an agreement to reserve one condo or apartment inside the new building for low income people on Section 8. This piece doesn’t address those cases but this is New York City and the totalitarian left runs everything so the guys on welfare have rights that are greater than those of the mere property owners next door.
If the gap between his home and the apartment complex is only 12", how can he do any exterior maintenance on the side of his house? The existing homes on that street are separated by a driveway.
The neighbor had a "big" yard.
just read the code ~ looks like the R7 property is probably in violation due to CONTEXTUAL ZONING REQUIREMENTS.
That looks like 704 Hauser Street.
so they can build to the property line, but the neighbor’s can’t.
There are special rules when this occur ~ even though you may have a right to a 1 ft lot line under a clear reading of the rules, and might even get your plan approved, you had an obligation to check or zoning on the adjacent property lest there be a contextual zoning rule ~ which there is ~ else you might end up having to knock down your building.
I may call this homeowner's shyster lawyer next week to see how he's progressing on making a deal on, let's say, $2,000,000 ~ before the high bulk building owner has to buy ALL the houses on the adjacent zoning block.
A neighbor didn't like my backyard garden. She called every state agency she could to harrass me. None of that worked when i called all of the visiting bureaucrats up to come and look at her "height of bulk' violation ~ they came ~ she spent untold thousands getting out from under that problem ~ which would have required her cutting of a good 1/3 of the part of her home facing the mainstreet.
That was a 'contextual zoning' rule.
New York may be more forgiving but somebody just got caught.
I'm not without sympathy, but you really do have to check this stuff before you buy.
We live in the first platted subdivision in our town, platted in the 1880’s. Our house was built about 20 years later, and the block slowly filledup with one or two-story houses, narrow but long lots (52 X 180).
Well, last summer we saw a legal notice that Land Clearance for Redevelopment (urban renewal) was trying to designate our area “blighted” because it is under-developed and doesn’t meet current platting standards. We sucessfully fought that, and now we are fighting “Design Standards” that would require new buildings be built at the front property line- no front yard allowed. We have never been able to get our property re-zoned out of a commercial classification, but with lot area requirements, it has always been a moot point. If the Planning Staff gets these “Design Standards” through, the next step will be to rezone us CBD, and then there are no lot or yard requirements.
Abuse of government power—oh, yeah. But the City is proud to be a “Sustainable City”. Truly a misomer, kind of like “Planned Parenthood”
This is in NYC, not the burbs or countryside, and in an area zoned for full-block housing. And the City desperately needs more housing. If their own house wasn’t so close to the property line, this wouldn’t be an issue anyway.
Sounds like they didn’t research their purchase adequately, but that’s not the fault of their neighbors.
Biggest mistake first of all is buying a house in the Bronx to begin with. I’d buy one if it sold for dirt cheap and then flip it onto a 3rd worlder as their palace. Certainly not on the bucket list to live in The Bronx-—yuk.
And that’s a smart Dad.
How much baksheesh does a variance cost in Brooklyn?
Oops, meant to say Bronx in post above.
In the old days, I don’t think I would mess with anyone living in that neighborhood over a property line dispute, especially if their first name was Nino, Rocco, Salvatore, Vincenzo, or Vito amongst a few others. Today, Fernando is not one of those given names.
What part of “zero lot line” zoning didn’t he understand?
This is the Bronx though, so I imagine other rules come into play, especially if the builder has other high-tax properties going up.
I bet there will be a vote and a variance allowed before the letter from the homeowner’s lawyer hits the bottom of the mailbox.
Would the Quality Housing regulations not have applied?
Where I come from, you’re supposed to get building plans approved *before* you start construction, regardless. The building inspector keeps a copy on file and inspects to the drawings on file.
Even my sainted Milton Friedman approve of zoning codes, since poorly constructed or sited buildings certainly have a “neighborhood effect”.
I grew up in Queens, and I went to school with a guy whose house was too close to sea level for building in the 1960’s, but was grandfathered in because it was constructed under the older building codes. Some developer put in a whole slew of new homes on his block that did not meet the newer code. As a result the City of New York filled in all the two story homes on his block up to the top of the first floor, except for his, and raised the grade on the road in front of his home about 10 feet. Basically, looking out the first floor of his house you faced a ten foot pile of dirt in every direction and a steep set of stairs leading up to street level. All the homes on the other three sides were buried by about ten feet of dirt, as was the street, so his home was in the bottom of dirt pit. This is the hamfisted way NYC officials dealt the situation.
Mom and I have 100 acres we we had just subdivided and were ready to develop when the housing bubble burst.
We had the first lot almost sold then mom heard them mention they were looking at pre-fab houses. When we pointed out that the deed restrictions in the covenants required homes be built on site and be of a minimum size they walked, they never heard of restrictions on vacant land before.
“Im all for private owners doing what they wish on their own property but in this case it clearly impacts the neighbors negatively.”
If it’s within the local zoning laws, then that negative impact has been deemed tolerable. All they can do, I think, is file a lawsuit, and pray.
How can you have setback rules when the lot is maybe 20 - 25 feet wide? They should zone it for trailors. But then someone would try and put a double wide...
I’ve never had to deal with such things fortunately.
I live in a vast metropolis of 150 people now.
Exactly. A low-information buyer.
Who was their contractor...?
“Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin’ is the life for me.
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.”
I own 20 acres with my home in the middle. I wish I had a whole lot more land.....
This was back in the 60’s and the family had just moved from SC up to MI.
I don’t think they thought much of it, seems where they moved from there was no such thing as building codes out in the country. The house was approved, they had a building permit but I don’t think they ever submitted a site-plan.
Back then perhaps that wasn’t needed like today.
And yet the City is running out of places to gentrify. Parts of the Bronx are really starting to move up.
Priest: Don’t be afraid, my son. No one is more powerful than God.
Calogero ‘C’ Anello: I don’t know about that, father. Your guy may be bigger than my guy up there, but my guy is bigger than your guy down here.
Priest: Ya got a point.
Site plan is part of the package you give the building inspector. I added a garage to my property, and we were well within the set back (which was like 25 feet), maybe a good ten feet to spare. It was a 24’ x 24’ garage, attached via a 6’ foot breezeway, which would tell you it extended 30’ from the edge of the house. The building inspector wanted a survey, which would have cost over a $100 bucks, but I whined enough that he waived it. (Clearly it was compliant.)
More accurately, the new building's owners won back some of their property rights by being landlord to "the guys on welfare." I'm in favor of zoning (as opposed to its complete absence) but to depict it as a defense of property rights is Orwellian.
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