The Stoop Stops Here … The Battle That Is

NYC Puts Off Enforcement Of Monitor Street Project For Now

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It’s a story we first told you about — residents fighting to keep their front stoops.

On Friday the city declared a truce in this Brooklyn battle.

Homeowners on Monitor Street will not see their fences and front stoops ripped up — at least not anytime soon, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

It was the letter that sent a chill down Monitor Street.

“It was terrible! It really was. It didn’t make sense, didn’t make sense,” resident Jimmy Hunt said.

A letter from the city’s Department of Design and Construction told residents their fenced-in front stoops encroached several feet onto city property, and would be torn down as part of a sidewalk and sewer project.

Residents said the stoops have been this way for generations — with no complaint from the city.

“I think it’s despicable. They’re gonna take this neighborhood and mess it up,” one resident said.

Well … maybe not.

DDC Commissioner David Burney visited Monitor Street on Friday to explain a snafu that will save the stoops — for now.

“I’m happy to say we’re going to postpone this part of the project to a future date,” Burney said.

As the city drew up plans for the project, it ran into trouble where the sidewalk ends. The city discovered it doesn’t own the title to the land where certain cars are parked — all the way down to Greenpoint Avenue.

Acquiring title will take years, so while the city negotiates it has put the monitor street construction “on hold.”

“It’s a touchy issue. We hope it’s averted, the issue goes away quietly, and we’re left alone,” resident Ricky Carias said.

“I hope it doesn’t come up again. Otherwise we’re gonna stick together and we’re gonna fight it again,” resident Laura Fudjinski said.

But for now they can relax, and when the weather improves enjoy their front stoops in peace.

The city said when the project resumes years from now it will work closely on design issues to minimize the impact on residents.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Tony Aiello
  • Barbara

    This is good news! However, the homeowner on Monitor St. who, in the future, wants to replace an old fence, or repair their stoops, will now have a dilemma. What measurements do they use since this reconstruction will be brought up again. What about having cement work done inside ‘your’ gate? Will DOT tell you in two years that you had work done on city property and that you had been warned of this in 2011? I’d like to know who owns the sidewalks on Monitor St,. between Greenpoint and Norman Avenues, if the city doesn’t? Yet, they adamantly claimed they owned the sidewalk on my part of Monitor. We still need answers. This was, and still is, a homeowner’s nightmare. I’m grateful for my neighbors who knew what questions to ask and who to contact for help. Without these people, this ridiculous plan would have started later this year. It would have destroyed our beautiful block. To all the people, including our local politicians, who put so much effort into stopping this, I sincerely thank you.

    • Joyce

      Thank God Greenpoint is still safe from bureaucratic BS! They had no right in the first place to start this commotion to take over property that didn’t belong to them. Yes, Barbara, you are 100% correct to thank all the people who helped allay this ridiculous plan. I don’t live in Greenpoint anymore, but it is still in my heart as one of the most beautiful parts of Brooklyn to live. Keep the faith and live like they will never bother you again.

  • Rugbyball

    What about squatters rights? If they have used it for generations and the city never stopped them, wouldn’t the residents now have a claim to that property?

  • meme

    the city is smart when it comes to removing snow from the sidewalk in front of your building or repairing the sidewalk is responsibility of the building owner > If someone breaks a leg on the sidewalk in front your home your responsible but if the city has some project the sidewalk and even your front stairs belong to them- interesting

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