Owner who was required to build a protective fence during demolition could not get adjoining property owners to give access to property needed to build the fence. North 7-8 Investors, LLC, the owner of a warehouse located at 2225 46th Street in Astoria, Queens, sought to demolish the warehouse and construct a new building. Under the City Administrative Code the warehouse owner must during demolition erect a perimeter fence to protect adjoining buildings. The fence in this instance would encroach into the back yards of eighteen adjoining properties. When the owner of the warehouse and the owners of the adjoining properties failed to reach an agreement on access to install the fence, the warehouse owner filed a petition in the Supreme Court for an order granting a license to enter the adjoining properties to perform the work.
Queens County Supreme Court Judge Timothy J. Dufficy granted the warehouse owner’s petition. Judge Dufficy noted that State law authorizes such limited licenses, and that the erection of a fence entailed only access and the placement of support posts, but was unlikely to cause any special or extraordinary damages.
Judge Dufficy limited the license term to one year, restricted access for work on the adjoining properties to weekdays between 8:30 in the morning and 5:00 in the evening, ordered the warehouse owner to procure $1 million of insurance to protect adjoining property owners and that the warehouse owner give an undertaking of $1 million to secure payment for any damage to adjoining property and associated costs sustained by the adjoining owners.
Judge Dufficy further directed each of the parties to submit an affidavit from a real estate expert opining on the value of the use and occupancy of property during the period of the license. Judge Dufficy would then set a fee to be paid by the warehouse owner to the adjoining owners for the use of their property. Judge Dufficy rejected, however, claims by the adjoining owners for legal and architecture fees and other costs incurred in reviewing the proposal.
2225 46th Street, LLC v. Hahralampopoulos, 46 N.Y.S.3d 772 (Sup. Ct. Queens Cty 2017) (Attorneys: Michael H. Maizes, for developer; Katerina Arvanitakis, for Hahralampopoulos).