While my neighbor on one side faces an unwanted demolition, the house on the other side has been a completely different story.
It was a small little two-story house, divided into two tiny apartments, one upstairs and one downstairs. It had seen better days and leaned slightly to one side. It was under renovation when the flood hit.
Since then it’s been an eyesore, but the neighborhood is full of those. So I was glad when the landlord finally sent a crew to work on it back in May.
First they gutted it.
Then they rebuilt the lower floor, leaving the upper floor intact.
Then they rebuilt the upper floor.
Essentially they demolished the old house and built a new one that occupies exactly the same dimensions.
And, despite the debris and the noise, I was pretty happy about the progress.
I wasn’t so happy when they tore down the shed in back and built a third apartment. I believe that’s illegal for about four different reasons. I also wasn’t happy about the fact that they didn’t do any remediation during the demolition for what I presume was lead-based paint, a real hazard in an old neighborhood like ours.
In any event, activity has ground to a halt, as the Office of Safety & Permits posted a stop work order. Seems they didn’t have a building permit for any of this work.
Update: My sources in City Hall pass along the following:
A STOP WORK ORDER WAS POSTED ON 08/01/07. WE HAVE SPOKEN TO THE OWNER AND INSTRUCTED HER SHE WILL NEED TO PROVIDE PLANS BECAUSE IT’S A 2-STORY BUILDING WHICH HAS BEEN RECONSTRUCTED ON EXISTING FOUNDATION WITHOUT PROPER PERMITS. THE OWNER WILL ALSO HAVE TO PROVIDE AN ELEVATION CERTIFICATE. OWNER WAS GIVEN PERMISSION TO MAKE THE BUILDING WATER TIGHT TO PREVENT DAMAGES FROM WEATHER.