An Ozone Park woman is furious after a neighboring car dealership erected a cinder block wall topped with coils of barbed wire next to her backyard without permission from the city.
“It looks terrible and it makes the neighborhood look terrible,” said Mary Jane Maggio, whose garage and yard share a border with Nissan of Queens, at 93-19 Rockaway Blvd. “I don’t want to have to look at that all the time.”
But the approximately 10-foot tall wall and 4 feet of barbed wire are hard to miss.
“It looks like a prison,” she said.
The dealership did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
According to Maggio, the wall went up last summer, and aside from its looks, she said the barbed wire endangers wildlife.
“The birds are flying through and getting cut, and a cat went through, got caught and then died,” she said just as a cat leapt through one of the coils and latched itself onto a nearby telephone pole before scaling down and scampering away.
According to the city, the construction of the wall was not legal since the dealership never had it inspected.
Any brick wall more than 8 feet must be inspected by the city to ensure it meets safety requirements, according to the city Department of Buildings, and the dealership did not get it inspected.
As of press time, the department had not issued a violation for the wall.
Once the wall is inspected, it would be legal, since the stack of cinder blocks is allowed by zoning laws.
So the wall that abuts Maggio’s yard may be illegal now, the dealership must simply get it inspected by the city and pay a fine to bring the structure into compliance, a prospect that does not please Maggio.
“I’ve been here most of my life. We never had any other companies like this,” she said. “I’m sure if they lived here, they wouldn’t like looking at that either.”
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2011 Community News Group
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