Monday, May 21, 2007

Another South Slope Disaster Area

Jackson Place One

Q: How bad can things get in Brooklyn when property owners and/or developers create quality of life problems that escape the attention of or are ignored by a nonfeasant Department of Buildings?

A: Horrendous.

Take the awful case of 18-20 Jackson Place, a small street in the South Slope between 16th Street and Prospect Avenue and Sixth and Seventh Avenues. It comes to our attention thanks to Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights. A neighbor is circulating a letter to try to get the Department of Buildings--whose mission is so critical to community safety and quality of life, yet which is so overwhelmed and sometimes incompetent and far worse--to pay attention. Amazingly, city records show the building hasn't gotten a single violation or citation from DOB.

Here's some of the text of the letter, in case the photos don't graphically show what's being done to the people that have to live with the building:
The property at 18-20 Jackson Place has now become a safety issue. Although the owner has said he will do the right thing, he has broken or skated DOB rules and regulations. He removed the third floor window in the front, and all the windows in the rear to intentionally leave the property open to the elements. Last year was issued a permit to demo the extension at the rear of the building, but has intentionally left most of the back open and unprotected, including a ten foot hole in the foundation. This is very dangerous, and a violation of city building maintenance rules.

Like many of the contractors, builders, and owners that are coming to our neighborhood only seeing $$, his noncompliance with the rules is effecting us all. The damage done to the adjacent is property has already become a hazard. One family was without a second floor bathroom for over two months because of his negligence, and a rodent problem is starting to be seen. The problem is only getting worse, and must be stopped. He has over fifty disapprovals by the DOB to date, and who knows what else he will do to take the money and run.

We are seeking your help in an effort to put a stop to this blatant disregard for our block and neighborhood. We are asking for the help of our community board 7, and elected officials. We must protect our families and our homes from the GREED. We are not against home improvement when it is done legally, but the rules are there to protect us all.

We are asking any and all city agencies to enforce the rules of compliance of city codes and safety.
Another average day at the wonderful intersection of Wild West Brooklyn Development and Theater of the Absurd City Government.

Jackson Place Two

Jackson Place Three

UPDATE: A local activist emails to note that "the owner of the adjacent property, while suffering, never made ANY complaints to DOB directly or via 311...Huge improvements have been made as of late at DOB, but folks have to make 311 complaints (or directly to DOB) for them to respond."

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