The ongoing illegal modification of a Throggs Neck house has neighbors and city officials annoyed and confused more than ever.
For over a decade now, construction has been progressing on a home located at 2925 Greene Place between Edison Avenue and E. Tremont Avenue.The owner of the home, Jose Alvarez, does not live in the house but has been continyously working on it since purchasing it over 10 years ago. The construction done to the house is believed to be illegal. It has amassed numerous violations for lacking Department of Buildings’ work permits.
This is not the first time that Alvarez has faced legal issues and complaints in regards to this house. According to the DOB, the house received its first violation in 1998, followed by a second in June 2004, a third in June 2007, a fourth in August 2007 and most recently a summons was issued on December 9. Alvarez is also facing unpaid violation fines totalling over$5,000. Alvarez could not be reached for comment.
The most recent violation is for failure to obey a stop-work order that had been issued by the DOB for the illegal work done to the house as well as numerous complaints by neighbors.
An architect familiar with the situation believes that the violations and outstanding fines that Alvarez is dealing with are in the process of being resolved with the DOB. However, according to the architect, he told Alvarez that no work ishould be done on this house until the issues are resolved.
“As far as I know, the application to take care of the legal issues had been submitted several weeks ago,” he said. “I have not heard from Jose for quite some time now, but I do know that no work is supposed to be going on at that house until everything is cleared and approved with the city.”
More recently, DOB officials have been questioned about the illegal dormer extension on the second floor, a garage and shed built without permits and whether or not the fence surrounding the property is within the legal height limit, which is six feet in New York City.
Another recent issue is the appearance of NYC DOB work permits in one of the windows of the house. The permits can not be read since they are hanging in a window on the second floor of the house, which is also against the law. Work permits are to be posted on ground level at a legible distance.
This is very confusing to Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who was recently asked to intervene by neighbors in the continuing problem. According to Vacca, consistent illegal work and records with the DOB shows that no work permits were ever issued to Alvarez, especially since he received another violation for continuing construction with a stop-work order on the house.
“There is no doubt in my mind that those posted work permits in the second floor window are not legitimate,” said Vacca. “We have a homeowner, with numerous violations, significant unpaid fines and two stop-work orders issued to the home he is doing work on. You cannot ignore a stop-work order, plain and simple, and the city will take him to court.”
Vacca is very concerned with the ongoing problem and is working hard to have it settled. He believes the DOB will handle the problem shortly.