Just a facade: Homeowner keeps fudging permits to build McMansion, neighbors say

Just a facade: Homeowner keeps fudging permits to build McMansion, neighbors say
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

The city must crack down on a Marine Parker who is repeatedly violating the rules as he builds an addition on his Kimball Street home, neighbors are demanding.

Officials have issued two stop-work orders on the home after inspectors caught the owner building bigger than he was supposed to. But work was allowed to continue once, and now neighbors fear the homeowner will continue to break the rules and get away with it.

“Before you blink this is going to be done and be a giant monstrosity. We got to get to the bottom of how this person submitted plans and got away with building something different,” said James McDonald, who lives next door and started a petition that has garnered more than 200 signatures.

The home — between Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S — is zoned for a maximum height of 35 feet. The Department of Buildings issued two stop-work orders on the home, the first in September, when inspectors found owner David Avraham was building a third story contrary to approved plans, which were only for the alteration of two existing floors. Avraham then re-submitted plans calling the third floor an attic space, and the city rescinded the stop-work order in November, according to an agency spokesman.

But inspectors ordered construction halted again a week later when they noticed work on the back of the home was larger than what was in the approved plans. The city partially rescinded the stop-work order to allow owners to make emergency repairs to the roof, but then fully reissued it on Dec. 8 once the repairs were completed, the spokesman said.

Neighbors described the structure as an eyesore and said it would set a bad tone for future construction, but they are also worried about safety.

McDonald is worried the construction is shoddy and that someone will get hurt as a result — things appear to be falling off the structure and onto his lawn, he said.

“I told them we had an issue with debris. There were nails falling on my property, part of the chimney fell off onto my property,” said McDonald.

The petitioners are right to complain, and buildings officials need to keep pressure on Avraham, the local councilman said.

“I agree with the people who are signing petitions, they have to do something to scale back what he’s doing. We have been in touch with Buildings, I visited the site with the DOB representatives about two weeks ago,” said Maisel.

Avraham declined to comment personally, but his attorney Stuart Klein said he will repair the home if it violates plans.

“I’ve ordered that the plans be sent to me so I can take a look and see what the problem is, and once we define the problem, we will act accordingly,” said Klein. “I met with him and they are willing to do whatever is necessary to cure the violation.”

The Department of Buildings is monitoring the site while the stop-work order is still active and is continuing to investigate, the spokesman said.

“DOB will continue to monitor the site, and provide additional enforcement actions when appropriate. DOB will perform an audit of the application for compliance with the NYC Construction Codes and NYC Zoning Resolution,” he said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.