In a letter written Dec. 14 to city Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster, Padavan said "this entire matter should be the subject of a high-level review by your office as expeditiously as possible."The neighbor, G. L. Soni, said he is going to the city's Board of Standards and Appeals, the quasi-judicial body empowered to review land-use decisions by city departments, on the grounds that the latest finding by the DOB that the house "met all requirements of law" is incorrect.Padavan noted that Soni's attorney, Stuart Klein, and others contend that the lifting of the latest stop-work order on the 5,900-square-foot house overlooking Little Neck Bay "was based on false information improperly submitted by the owner's architect."The house, at 37-19 Regatta Place, had been under a stop-work order from July to October, when it was lifted after Mattone submitted a new survey to the DOB indicating where the mean high water line is located.After the stop-work order was lifted, Klein wrote to the DOB in November with several objections to the project. In a Dec. 23 letter to Klein, Queens DOB Commissioner Magdi Mossad concluded that Mattone correctly based his floor area and waterfont yard requirements on the property's mean high water line rather than the existing retaining wall, which the DOB said "is not there to stabilize the natural shore.""The mean high water line is the shoreline and the proper point at which to measure the waterfront yard," Mossad wrote. The ruling allows Mattone to count land that is actually under water toward the allowable size of both the house and the yard. City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) also asked in mid-December that the Buildings Department inspect the site again because the house is at points closer than the required 30 feet from the seawall and because the location of the mean high water line was moved out 15 feet under revised plans submitted in October.And Klein said he was appealing to the Board of Standards and Appeals for a review of the DOB decision."The Buildings Department is, for lack of a better term, absurd," Klein said in a phone interview this week. He said he was also contacting the state Department of Environmental Conservation about a violation Mattone received for raising the seawall beyond the permitted height.Jennifer Givner, a spokeswoman for the DOB, said the department had found the house to be within the zoning regulations."It appears that generally speaking the points that Mr. Klein raised are not valid points," she said. "These are very complicated matters, so it is very easy for someone to misinterpret the law, the zoning resolution."In November, Mattone withdrew a plan to build a 240-foot pier into Little Neck Bay after widespread outcry from neighbors, civic groups and elected officials.Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at news@times
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