Bay Ridge Spite Wall Gets Even More Spitey

Some big and mind blowing news has occurred this week in regard to the Bay Ridge Spite Wall – which I first discussed over the summer here, and again discussed last month here.

To sum up the basic history…

  • A jerk by the name of Cunningham decided to build a second house on his property illegally at 123 87th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209.
  • This second house was illegally attached to the foundation of the neighboring home at 127 87th.
  • They built a tall cinderblock wall up against the neighboring house, pushed the air conditioning units out of the window inside the home of 127, and during this entire process, blatantly ignored the zoning which required at least 8 feet of side yard clearance between the homes.
  • 70 complaints, 20 violations, one stop work order and a criminal summons have been filed against Cunningham.

So, on to the news.

  • This past week Cunningham was to appear in Department of Buildings Criminal Court on a summons issued to him but was unable to attend because he attended a Board of Standards and Appeal meeting instead –  50 letters in support of the safe destruction of the illegal wall were submitted to the BSA that were against the Cunningham cause.
  • At the BSA meeting Cunningham was supposed to appeal his violation of zoning and of the 8 foot side yard as required.
  • Instead of trying to make an appeal of his violation, he rather rudely explained that he WANTED the BSA to reactivate his revoked permit and that he was 80% done with building the new house – despite the fact that when the STOP WORK ORDER was issued in December 2007, the house was only 35% done.
  • Cunningham went on to further claim that that his permit was revoked without reason and that the DOB had encouraged him to build on the property line – despite that 8 feet of side yard was was required.
  • He further went on to make up audits and claim that no complaints made against him ever stuck…despite 7 current active violations…
  • After asking if he would have to tear the building down if it were completed and being told that it could very well happen, he made an apparent threat with something to the effect that…if you turn down my application, I am going to tear down my house, create the 8 foot side yard against 121 87th and leave the wall up against 127 87th.

All of this means that Cunningham is still out and about, actively trying to keep his illegal wall up and trying to finish his illegal house.

  • The good news is that we can send a message to the Chair of the Board of Standards and Appeals (click here to send a message) and snail mail two other Commissioners…
  • Commissioner Derrick Lee, Department of Buildings, 210 Joralemon Street, 8th Floor, Brooklyn, NY, 11201
  • Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Department of Buildings, 280 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10007
  • These messages and letters should insist that the illegal wall/structure/home that Robert and Cheryl Cunningham have built should be removed.
  • The Cunningham’s should not be given a permit to tear down their legal house out of spite, which has stood for decades.
  • Lastly, if they fail to comply, the Cunningham’s should have the book thrown at them – whether it be jail, fines, and or seizure of the lot at 123 87th Street.

Here’s the basic info the on the case…Robert & Cheryl Cunningham have a home with a large side yard at 123 87th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209, Block – 6042, Lot – 67.  There is BSA Case # 292-08A over this illegal and mind blowing stupid and rude construction.

{ 3 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. Hate to be the neighbor with this wall on their property line. Anyone know WHY he’s doing this? And why has this been going on for almost a year with no resolution? Abso-f’in-lutly ridiculous.

  2. I’m totally late to the game on this (Feb2015), but if there is supposed to be an 8′ set aside between structures, isn’t the person at 127 87th equally as guilty? I’m thinking that Cunningham must have his wall (the one on the right as facing the building) on his property, so what happened to his neighbor’s share of the set aside? Shouldn’t there be at least 4′ of space between the neighbor’s house and the wall? I’m not familiar with NY law, but it seems there might be two sides to this story.

  3. @Wasbum, to my knowledge, the house on the right is built with EIGHT inches of room between itself and the shared property line between the two. Thus, the spite wall is actually over the property line by eight inches. There is also a driveway to the right of 127 that fits the code for eight feet between it and the house to the east of it.

    The gentleman at 127 is indeed a gentleman. The same cannot be said about the builder of the spite wall.

    Plus, NYC Dept of Buildings is a corrupt organization and has zero to little positive effect on the masses of NYC.

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