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Work resumes on blighted Bellerose house

After sitting idle for nearly three years, construction on the house at 89-01 249th St. resumed the first week in March, but neighbors Angela and Mike Augugliaro say the work now being done violates the provisions stated in the construction permits posted on the property.The Augugliaros have long voiced their complaints about the 249th Street property to the city's Department of Buildings, but they were never addressed until recently. The two detailed their complaints in the Feb. 24 issue of the TimesLedger, just a week before work began again on the property.This week Angela Augugliaro said the construction permit states work is only to be done on the existing side and rear of the property, not the front of the house where she had observed work being done in recent weeks.After Augugliaro and her husband saw that windows and plywood walls had been erected on the second floor of the front of the house, they called the Department of Buildings -- once again -- about the apparent new extension. She also complained about a downed construction fence.After a few days, Augugliaro said she got a call from a neighbor who said workers were taking the extension down."I'm happy to see them stop," said Augugliaro, the secretary of Community Board 13. The board covers the areas of Bellaire, Bellerose, Cambria Heights, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, Laurelton, Queens Village, Rosedale, and Springfield Gardens. But it turns out that it was the fence that brought the authorities out to Bellerose.According to the Department of Buildings, two visits were made to the property in March, but they were prompted by the downed construction fence, not the extension."There was not a stop-work order," said Robert Hudack, intergovernmental and community affairs liaison for the Department of Buildings in Queens. "We did go out for the fence because it had fallen, but that has now been fixed."Hudack did say there was an existing stop-work order involving the house, but it dated from 2003 and he had not mentioned it to construction workers or the contractor on the recent visits to the house. He could not account for the work being done to the front of the property.Calls placed to both the company listed as the mortgage holder, Better American Homes of Elmhurst, and the construction company, Tabriz Design Group of Kew Gardens, were not returned. Augugliaro said she was happy that the house was now being built within the confines of the existing permit, but added there was a larger issue of overdevelopment in the area."We're not thrilled because it's still going to be a two-family home," said Angela. "It really puts a strain on the infrastructure."Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext 173.

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