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Bellerose construction wrecks next yard

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Such is the life of Helene Soehngen, who lives next to a lot at 249-21 88th Rd., in Bellerose where a single-family home once stood. Two two-family homes and possibly a third single-family home are now in the process of being built on the lot.Soehngen said she was approached by a worker for the construction company, Tayed Homes Corp. of Westbury, L.I., seeking permission to take down a chain-link fence in order to pour a foundation for the third single-family home on the lot. Soehngen declined because she has a dog that her elderly mother cannot walk on a leash and instead lets the dog out into the fenced-in yard. According to Soehngen, the construction company abided by her wish not to take down the fence, opting to dig underneath it instead."My mother called me at work saying they were hitting something," Soehngen said. "Then my tenant called and said they were doing something strange."Officials from Tayed Homes Corp. could not be reached for comment."I went to look when I got home and saw the holes," Soehngen said. "I said 'no, those can't be holes'." Soehngen said there were three neatly scooped out sections of her property and she could see clear through to the other side."I could see all the way down the retaining wall," said Soehngen. "I said "oh, my God'."Soehngen said she then called the Bellerose Civic Association, which told her to call the New city Department of Buildings, which she did. A Department of Buildings employee arrived a short time later and issued a stop-work order and violation for the illegal digging.Posted on the construction fence outside the lot was a violation for "failure to provide protection at all sides of a excavation" as well as the stop-work order, both of which were issued April 11.Calls placed to the Department of Buildings were not returned.Soehngen said she never spoke to anyone at the construction company since she was first approached and has contacted her lawyer to see what legal actions she can take to rectify the problem. Since the three holes were dug, the soil in between them has collapsed leaving an even larger hole, about 15 feet long and two feet wide, where her lawn once was. "I can't leave it like that," Soehngen said. "What happens if my dog falls through?"Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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