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Marine building abuses

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Marine Park residents say their neighbors are abusing their building permits and constructing out-of-character developments. Anthony Testaverde, a representative for State Senator Marty Golden, said he’s learned of Marine Park residents building extensions for their homes but doing work they don’t have permits for. For instance, he said homeowners have permits for minor work but instead do extensive excavations. “The work that is posted [on permits] is not exactly what is going on,” Testaverde said at a Marine Park Civic Association meeting. A city Buildings Department source said violations and stop-work orders are issued when construction is done without an appropriate permit. But according to Ed Jaworski, vice president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association, fines have been grossly ineffectual at deterring developers from violating their permits. “The fines used to be a couple of hundred dollars,” Jaworski. “They raised them to a couple thousand but that’s a drop in the bucket for a house that sells for hundreds of thousands.” Jaworski suggested that the city implement tougher penalties to discourage homeowners and developers from doing illegal work. “Maybe some jail time or something stiffer should be involved,” he said. Problems continue once stop-work orders are issued. As the economy falters, developers and homeowners are leaving incomplete structures as is, creating eyesores in the community. “They could sit there for years,” said Jaworski. “They just sit there with fences around, collecting dirt and garbage.” “People have to live with blight on their block,” he continued. Testaverde said Marine Park residents should report illegal construction. Call 311, he said, “If you see any construction going on that you don’t think is right.” “If somebody is welding at 11 o’clock at night, that shouldn’t be done,” said Marine Park Civic President Greg Borruso.

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