Nuisance claim upheld

Owner of vacant residential lots stored vehicles and construction materials. A Department of Buildings inspector visited four R4-zoned residential lots located on 78th Street between Dumont and South Conduit Avenues in Lindenwood, Queens. The inspector, during three visits, observed stored on the site a large excavator and two commercial trucks, and construction tools and equipment, including a drilling machine, a generator, and large quantities of lumber and pipes. Subsequently, Buildings sought an order to seal the premises under the padlock law to halt an alleged public nuisance.

The property owner and occupants did not appear at a hearing before OATH. ALJ Joan R. Salzman found that the lots were a public nuisance. ALJ Salzman credited Buildings’ evidence that the owner used the lots to store construction materials and vehicles, an impermissible commercial use, and as a contractor’s yard, an impermissible manufacturing use. ALJ Salzman recommended that Buildings seal the lots, noting that the closure would not interfere with any residential structures, as there were none on the site.

DOB v. Owners of 133-40 78th Street, Queens, OATH Index No. 768/12 (Jan. 5, 2012). CITYADMIN

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