City stymies skinny Throggs Neck house

City stymies skinny Throggs Neck house
Community News Group / Ben Kochman

A thin house being built in Throggs Neck is now on thin ice.

The city has put the kibosh on a skinny planned home on Revere Avenue until it gets the skinny on whether the Department of Buildings erred in approving the house’s design.

DOB says it will soon slap the property owner at 848 Revere Avenue with a temporary stop-work order, until the city reviews the plans of the two-family home currently under construction on a 22-foot wide building lot.

Simply too thin!

New rules drawn up in a 2003 “downzoning” — created in response to complaints that too much density would ruin the nabe’s residential character — require any new home built in the rezoned portion of Throggs Neck to be at least 25 feet wide and provide eight feet of space between it and the adjacent home, in what is called a side yard. New two-family homes must have at least three on-site parking spaces.

But plans for the new home approved by DOB in 2010 and designed by architect Gino Longo call for a mere 14-foot wide home with only two off-street parking spaces. The designs do, however, comply with the most recent zoning by having an eight-foot side yard.

The councilman who pushed for the 2003 downzoning was shocked to hear that the city had approved a design he called “outdated.”

“This is a classic case of over development,” said Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who pushed for the changes back when he was district manager of Community Board 10. “We need to be using the most current zoning. It’s 2014! This should be academic!”

City: Sorry, we messed up

The building’s owner was peeved to learn of the scrutiny surrounding the house, since the city had already signed off on the plans and given him a permit to start construction.

“This is not something that we just came up with on our own,” said Anthony Iocovello of Throggs Neck-based Iocovello and Sons. “ There has already been a full review, and we have met all of the city’s requirements. “

The Buildings Department now admits that whoever vetted the plan back in 2010 approved it without understanding the specific nuances of Throggs Neck zoning.

“The plan examiner that reviewed it either overlooked it or was not looking at it,” said department spokesman Alex Schnell.

Neighbors were relieved to hear that the city was finally coming around to what they have long charged was simply too skinny a house.

“It looks like a shoebox,” said Denise Schumacher, who lives next door. “There’s no room for it, and there never was room for it.”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.