The Real Deal New York

Village homeowner busted for digging illegal 7-foot hole

Neighbor spotted excavation under landmarked structure

September 02, 2016 09:39AM

35 Perry Street and the  wood-and-tarp frame hiding the 7-foot excavation behind the landmarked building (credit: NYC DOB)

35 Perry Street and the wood-and-tarp frame hiding the 7-foot excavation behind the landmarked building (credit: NYC DOB)

A West Village homeowner got busted by the Department of Buildings for digging an illegal seven-foot hole that could have caused a “deadly collapse.”

According to the New York Daily News, homeowner Joseph Ienco tried to hide the excavation under his landmarked, 1852 building at 35 Perry Street from neighbors by putting up a wood-and-tarp frame and by removing debris through a rental moving truck (as opposed to dumpsters). But a neighbor spotted the covert operation called the DOB.

Inspectors found that the structure weakened the foundation of the building and “compromised” a wall belonging to neighboring 37 Perry Street.

The Daily News doesn’t mention why Ienco, who didn’t have an excavation permit, wanted to dig a big hole in his backyard.

“This case shows the depths to which bad actors will sink or, in this case, dig to evade the law,” Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler told the Daily News. “This illegal excavation greatly endangered the lives of workers and the public, and could have triggered a deadly collapse bringing neighboring properties down with it.”

Ienco denied wrongdoing, telling the paper that “nobody was in danger.” He added that work has begun again, now under surveillance by a stabilization expert. [NYDN] Konrad Putzier

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