Town And County Officials Working With Petty Family To 'Correct The Situation'

MANORVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –– A Long Island community is abuzz with word that a brand new home in Suffolk County was accidentally constructed on county land.

As a result of the snafu, the home will have to be razed and rebuilt, leaving the homeowners in anguish.

The finishing touches were underway for the Petty family’s American dream home. They were due to move in time for the new school year.

However, construction was suddenly ordered halted on their four-bedroom, four-bath center hall colonial just off Route 111 in Manorville, the gateway to the Hamptons.

When asked by CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan if the turn of events was a humiliation for he and his wife, Kenneth Petty said, “Not a humiliation — mistakes people made.”

Petty and his family were blindsided upon learning they inadvertently built their 5,400-square foot home onto about 100 feet of county land.

They will now be forced to start over.

“We received a phone call from Petty’s attorney that our pipe was on their property. We went out to look at it and we determined ‘No, your house is actually on county property,'” said Gilbert Anderson, the Suffolk County Commissioner for the Department Of Public Works.

The bungling was blamed on the Petty family’s surveyor and title company that signed off on construction.

The Pettys are now negotiating with the county to rebuild about 100 feet south, but it’s unclear if they still own the land because town permits for construction have expired.

“We need to know that there is an agreement between the county, this homeowner and the title company, before we can issue a new permit, because we need to know they actually own the land,” Brookhaven Town Councilman Daniel Panico said.

To further complicate matters, a nearby pond is a state-protected breeding ground for a rare salamander.

The county’s Department of Environmental Conservation said it is working cooperatively with the Pettys and the county to “correct the situation…while continuing to protect the habitat.”

The Pettys, who have been through the ringer, are counting on their insurance to pay for demolition and reconstruction.

Town and county officials told CBS 2 they want to help make things right for the Pettys, who, they said, are nothing more than innocent victims.

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