A Real Property Rights Question–We Need Ideas

The following was written on our “How To Comment” page. The author is only known as ‘Libby’, and left no contact information. I don’t know if she has a Facebook page or not. Let’s give her some serious ideas on how to help her situation.

neighborsI would appreciate any response regarding a situation I am involved in. Hopefully, someone can suggest what we might be able to do to have a say in our community and perhaps a solution for us to have some property rights to enjoy our home which has been taken away from us since they have started construction of this Community Center.

I live in Brooklyn, New York adjacent to a 6 story Community Center that is being constructed. Our driveway is located approximately 1/2 foot before their 35 car underground garage on a narrow 1-way street. So their traffic and all traffic goes past my house first. They will probably have to turn right before their driveway in front of mind in order to go into their underground garage (which will cause us not to be able to park in front of our own driveway. Another problem might be that their clients park in front of our driveway as their construction workers already do and the police have done nothing about this. Another issue is that if we are parked in our own driveway we will not be able to take our car out since it will be blocked.

Construction workers for this Community Center has damaged our property, has thrown garbage and lit cigarettes in our backyard, we have had constant debris which this construction. There have been so many issues I could not possible write them all down. Also, the fact that we can not predict what other future issues that Center will cause us and our neighbors.
This Center will be open from 6:30AM to 10 or 11PM/7 days a week. Cars will be lining up right next to my home waiting to get into this garage forcing us to inhale these toxic fumes day and night. Most of their Clients will only need to be at this Center for approximately 1 hour or less so there will be in and out traffic all day and night forcing us to deal with noise and these toxic fumes day and night/7 days a week. The fact that these people can see in our homes and backyards takes away our privacy. Also, we will not be able to entertain in our yard due to the fumes and noise, as well as these people can see directly in our yards from their windows and balcony. That goes along with the pedestrian traffic hanging out by our home looking in our yard. The pedestrian traffic which will cause other problems such as loitering littering,and smoking (as they will not be allowed to smoke by that Community Center). This could also increase crime in our community since many of these people do not live here and this might encourage them to see what the neighborhood has.
We have spoken to the Community Board, local Politicians, Public Advocate, Police Community Team, DOB, etc., unfortunately no one has been willing to help us after hearing the name of the organization that is opening this Community Center as they are very politically offiliated with these people. The organization that is opening this Community Center has had their board members on the local Community Board past and presently, they have a board member who was a Chaplain in the local precinct, they have a board member who works for the DOB, the chairman of the local Community Board’s wife works for the Congressman’s office, etc., etc. After making numerous complaints regarding illegal issues we have been harassed by the construction crew, as well we have made complaints to the police and the police have not even come to investigate. The people in my community are afraid to make complaints against these people as they have said they are afraid that someone will kill or hurt them or their families. Other neighbors have said that even if they complain no one will do anything about it, so why bother. My husband and I have made many complaints, all of these complaints were either closed or nothing came of them.
We hope that someone might have advice on what we can do about our rights to live in an environment that we will not be forced to deal with noise and toxic fumes day and night, as well as stop these people from taking away our right to enjoy our homes as well as allowing us our privacy, etc. I do not think we should have to ask for these things, I think this is our right to have!!!!

I would truly appreciate any advice on my comment.


About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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4 Responses to A Real Property Rights Question–We Need Ideas

  1. Anne says:

    They should contact an attorney….if it’s true the construction company has put things on their property, I believe they can sue for trespass. As it is, the rest of the problems the writer lists are as of now speculative; an attorney will be the best-suited person to analyze all possible claims they may have.


  2. BOB McGILL says:

    I live near downtown, 2 churches, a library, and the American Legion and have the same kind of problems. People are just inconsiderate slobs, get used to it !!!!!


  3. Agree with Anne. Get an attorney and Sue for trespass and possibly a public nuisance claims. Document everything in writing and photographs. Since the police and local government is in collusion, this is her only alternative. Sue for damages and distress and it must be “substantial interference” with your right to enjoyment of your property in order to be considered worthwhile. It will not enjoin the use. I also question the 1/2 buffer and am wondering if it is a legal setback. They may have gotten a variance, but six inches is incredulous.


  4. josephurban says:

    Take pictures. Lots of pictures. Especially of the property line and any trash, etc. thrown on your property. Write a letter to your local representative on Brooklyn council. Be specific. Always be specific. Keep sending a new letter every week outlining any specific problems. Send any letters registered and keep copies. If you have to call the police insist that you want to file a complaint. Even if they don’t want you to. In other words collect reliable evidence that your lawyer will be able to use.
    Do you have any other community organizations, homeowner groups, etc. that you can contact.


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