Retaining Walls: A Case Of Mistaken Ownership For DOB?

Retaining wall along the tracks. Liena Zagare / Bklyner

UPDATED: As of Monday morning, apparently, DOB had no idea the walls were owned by the NYC TransitAuthority – see the letter here that DOB sent to NYC Transit. Homeowners can sleep easier tonight.

Rep. William Colton, who represents Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Dyker Heights, says his office has been inundated with angry homeowners since Halloween, hints of Melanie E. La Rocca, commissioner of the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) Violations get about the retaining walls behind their property that homeowners believe are not their responsibility.

“Every notice states that the womenswear records indicate that the homeowner is in violation of the NYC administrative code. Homeowners are then instructed to remediate this violation by submitting an acceptable technical report within 60 days of the date of writing, ignoring that every letter is dated October 2, 2019 and every person I contact contacted or received this issue on or after October 31, 2019, ”says Colton. “In addition, people were threatened that failure to comply could result in a violation and that civil or criminal penalties could be imposed.”

A few days ago, THE CITY reported that homeowners along the Q / B train tracks are being held responsible for the retaining walls, causing outrage. Colton points out that the MTA released a press release back in 2017 regarding repairs along the N Line, stating that $ 395.7 million will be spent on a renovation project.

“For these stations, which originally opened in 1915, the renovation work includes improved platforms and overpasses, new stairs and handrails, repairs to canopies and pillars, paint and renovation of historic entrances and tariff control areas for main building stations, improved security functions and improved communication systems, that create better travel conditions for customers. The work will also take place between stations with repairs to retaining walls along the driveway. ”

Colton is disgusted.

“It’s just outrageous that after the millions of dollars the MTA spent on repairs, including repairs to the retaining wall, now, two years later, homeowners are violating non-maintenance of the retaining wall. Isn’t it ironic? Tax dollars were wasted on repairs that were not completed. Now the city decides to incriminate the homeowners. My question is why has it now become such a big problem that homeowners have become victims? I think the only mistake homeowners make is that they own property that is near the MTA’s retaining wall. This is unacceptable. I request a full investigation. I won’t stop until I get to the bottom of this mess, ”Colton continued.

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