DOB moves to save Carroll Gardens’ gardens

January 24, 2011 10:20AM

A row of Brownstones On First Place in Carroll Gardens

The Department of Buildings is issuing a stop-work order on a new Carroll Gardens restaurant after getting word that the owner was planning to pave over the 150-year-old garden in the front yard to make way for outdoor seating. According to the Post, which takes credit for having tipped off the DOB, the gardens that line the brownstones of First, Second, Third and Fourth avenues are for “courtyard use” only, though the city hasn’t always enforced that rule. Some homeowners in the area have gotten away with illegal curb-cutting so that they can use their gardens, which date back to 1846, as parking spaces. Meanwhile, the architect of the restaurant project, on Court Street and First Place, pointed to other Carroll Gardens businesses, including a PJ Hanley’s bar ad a Dunkin’ Donuts, successfully using their gardens for other purposes. But although Vincenzo Cumbo, the owner of the brownstone in question, had already received city approval for the restaurant, he hadn’t indicated his plans for a sidewalk café in his proposal. [Post]