Bay Ridge Spite Wall A Decade Plus Affair

The Bay Ridge Spite Wall battle has raged for over a decade within the New York City Department of Buildings (since November of 2002 to be exact).  Despite court victories for the neighboring homeowner, whose house is on the right of this photo, where the spite wall was illegally built upon and deemed immediately hazardous in May of 2011, the spite wall remains standing to this very day.

bay ridge spite wall february 2013

The spite wall was built illegally, out of zoning, without a proper permit and over the property line from 123 87th Street and onto the property of 127 87th Street.  Not only that, but the DOB has finally realized that the original house at 123 87th Street has been illegally modified (in a most gaudy of ways) and is completely out of the permitted zoning by being too close to the street.

So, as it stands now, with over ten years of illegal and unsafe construction going on at the Cunningham residence of 123 87th Street in Brooklyn, NY and 111 complaints, (two of which are still open) 32 violations found (18 of which are still open), the Bay Ridge Spite Wall still stands as a testament to the failure of the local New York City government.  The Department of Buildings has proven itself to be an inadequate bureaucracy that is unable to fulfill its intended role.

Mayor Bloomberg, since this issue has been going on for the majority of your time as mayor of New York, might you please able to have someone look into this decade long issue and finally get it resolved?  Also, can you have someone revamp the DOB into an agency that can actually help the citizens of New York?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

  1. So Hey, Beehive. How about an update on the Bay Ridge Bastards? I think it’s time.

  2. I see nothing wrong here! Zoning is stupid, you pay for land, you pay taxes. And the gov’t tells me what I can and can not build! If I own the land, I should be able to do whatever the hell I want! NYC should remove all zoning laws.

  3. Would love an update on this!

  4. Roma, being going full on libertarian when it comes to a compact area such as New York City building code would make for many more dangerous situations and dwellings than already exist. With regards to to this particular case, the spiteful owner has attached the wall onto his neighbor’s property. Not only that, but that innocent neighbor’s house is eight inches away from their shared property line. So, with your libertarian views, can I walk into your home and take your couch because I want a couch?

  5. Neighbour from 2 blocks away

    I feel sorry for both parties. I noticed 127 87th St went on sale in the beginning of this year, but then they removed the listing. Who would want to buy a house with never ending problem next door and half of the windows blocked?
    The amicable solution would Mr. Cunningham paying compensation to his neighbours and finishing up construction according to city zoning regulations.
    Architecturally the house he modified stands out nicely on that block. They need a judge Judy on the case!!!

  6. I left this same comment on the original “history” portion of this story. I’m curious about the set aside with respect to the neighbor at 127, the house on the right that the wall is butting up to. I’m assuming, maybe incorrectly, that the 127 house is built directly on the property line. Shouldn’t the 8′ set aside have applied to him as well as to Cunningham, giving a full 16′ of separation between structures? I think their might be two sides to this…. That is, why was 127 allowed to build directly on the property line?

    Without any more information than I’m seeing here, I think I’d have to side with Cunningham. The 127 lot is narrower than the others from what I can see on Google Earth and the only reasonable way to build anything on Cunningham’s lot is to have adjoining walls as you would have on a duplex. From what I can see, the gentlemen at 127 is being the jerk, but I don’t have all the info.

  7. @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.

{ 0 Pingbacks/Trackbacks }

Leave a Reply

newsletter software