NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was told to fix his cracked sidewalk or pay a fine, and now he may have wasted his money replacing it.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported exclusively, white markings have been drawn up on the sidewalk – the city’s code for where a new tree is to be planted. Thus, the brand new sidewalk will be ripped up.
The new sidewalk cost homeowner Patrick Colletti more than $6,000. But Colletti did not really have a choice after the Department of Transportation hit him with a summons for his cracks back in March.
“I did the right thing. I hired a contractor,” Colletti said. “The work was complete May 13.”
But two weeks later, the Department of Parks and Recreation painted the markings calling for the tree.
“Who’s responsible to pay me back of the concrete I just laid down?” he said. “Am I going to be reimbursed?”
City Councilman James Vacca (D-13th) has been proposing legislation for two years that would require the city to notify anyone with a permit for sidewalk construction if a tree is scheduled for the next planting season.
“This is an example of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, and local residents have to foot the bill,” Vacca said.
The Parks Department told CBS2 that “all street trees are planted within the city-owned public right-of-way,” including the site in front of Colletti’s home.
“There is no coordination between NYC Parks and DOT,” the Parks Department said.
Colletti said that was the very problem.
“Shouldn’t one agency talk to the other? They don’t even talk to each other, you know?” he said. “And now, I got stuck with a problem that nobody really wants to solve.”
At the next house over, a tree is already ripping up the sidewalk. It is a fate that Colletti fears for his property in the coming years.
The Parks Department said it expects to plant the tree in front of Colletti’s house next week.
CBS2 reached out to the DOT several times, but the department had not responded late Thursday.