Small house under construction on a small plot not welcome on the Hauppauge block
A tiny house under construction on undersized land in Hauppauge makes life miserable, neighbors have said.
Former landowner William Mallon was granted waivers from the Smithtown Zoning Appeal Board in 2018, which paved the way for the construction of the 1,310 square foot two-story home on a 0,000 square foot lot. 4 acre of South Plaisted Avenue, the smallest and narrowest in its block. . Most of the neighborhood homes, which were built in the 1960s and 1970s, measure approximately 2,100 square feet. Mallon’s deviations were aimed at building on land about 35 percent smaller than the zoning calls and reducing the frontage from 75 to 50 feet, according to planning department staff.
âThey can open their front door and practically walk out into my driveway,â said Gail Castoro, 67, a retired marketing underwriter who lives next door. After construction began, her fireplace mantel began to lean, she said. “I pray that my foundation will hold and my cesspool will hold.”
Mallon was sold for $ 180,000 on April 15 to Bohemian-based Property Relief Partners LLC, Suffolk County records show, but neighbors said problems started with the construction earlier in the year: mounds of earth blowing in the wind, noise and heavy equipment that rocked neighboring houses.
City inspectors issued a stop-work order on March 23 when they found the foundation height of the new house exceeded the approved elevation, according to city construction department records. Neighbors said workers spent a week grinding about a foot from the top of the newly laid foundation, making noise and a cloud of dust. The stop work order was lifted on April 26.
Inspectors found a temporary construction fence in poor condition during a visit on May 16. That case was resolved within days, records show, but Carl Castoro, 68, a retired ironworker, remained skeptical of the manufacturing. “Who are they going to have to do the electricity? Laurel and Hardy? He said no fence was in place on Tuesday.
Lauren Kubernat, a retired customer service manager who lives across the street, said she and others believed the land – vacant for so long that neighbors rallied for the maintain – was legally unbuildable. “I’m just so disappointed with the city that they are approving such a small house in such a beautiful middle class neighborhood,” she said. Neighbors also said they were disturbed by an interlude during the 2018 appeal board meeting which was held informally.
The city typically receives around 210 requests per year for residential and commercial exemptions. Zoning Appeal Board member Tony Tanzi, speaking generally about his council’s work, said members sometimes step away from the case to discuss litigation issues, but do most of their work in public.
With little building land open in Smithtown, council often hears requests from homeowners looking to build outside the city’s zoning constraints, he said. “We are trying to give someone the relief they need to achieve their goals and impact the neighbors as little as possible,” he said.
Vincent Trimarco, a land use lawyer who represented Mallon before the city last year, said in an interview that his former client “made a request and the council approved it. It is not like he did something he shouldn’t have done. “
Property Relief Partners owner Anthony Loffredo declined to comment.
Trimarco said Loffredo, whom he represented on separate issues, was “a good builderâ¦ the sooner he finishes, the sooner they will have no noise and they will have a neighbor to get along with”.