Demolition NOV dismissed

Board reverses ALJ, finds that lot was vacant when owner purchased property. 1115 Ocean Parkway LLC purchased a vacant lot in the Midwood section of Brooklyn and constructed a five-story building. An officer issued a Notice of Violation after he observed that a building had been demolished without a permit prior to the new construction. At a hearing, the owner claimed that the lot was vacant when it purchased the property, and submitted a recorded deed and accompanying survey that showed a vacant lot. The ALJ upheld the NOV, determining that the owner’s evidence was not convincing especially since the deed referenced the owner’s lot through a handwritten note and the survey contained no lot number.

The owner appealed to ECB, arguing that the recorded deed and survey proved the lot was vacant when the owner purchased the property. The Board agreed with the owner, reversed the ALJ’s decision and order, and dismissed the NOV. The Board ruled that the lot was vacant at the time of purchase, noting that the deed was recorded under the block and lot identified in the NOV and that the lot line boundaries on the survey matched the metes and bounds description of the lot on the recorded deed.

NYC v. Birnbaum Enterprises, ECB Appeal No. 47367 (Dec. 18, 2008). CITYADMIN

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