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    Does the DOB have a phone number where they can assist with zoning questions? Do they answer zoning questions in person?

    I own a mixed use commercial building, and two of my neighbors have built a 700 sq ft extension. When I spoke with 2 architects, they each said I could only build out 300 sq ft, because I am required to maintain a 30 foot recess between my property and the houses on the next street. One neighbor has had this extension for 20 years, and the other one since 2003.

    I’d like to talk to someone at the DOB in person, since both architects have told me I can’t build this extension.


      When we started our renovation in Carroll Gardens, the DOB stated that we would to install a planter/garden in the front area. Are there specific rules for this? Will a container garden suffice or does it need to be a custom built planter? Is there a minimum size? We were given very little information other than a box in the approved blueprint.


        DOB launched a new citywide program called “get it done together” to faciliate faster approvals. Offhand looks like the answer for an application where there is some pondering going on wheteher to file a CCD/ZRD-1 or not and also for minor jobs where there is adelay in getting general appointments and you get ot faster that way.


          I have a gas dryer and live in a coop building. I have been told I can keep my gas dryer, but that it must be vented via a window that does not open.

          Does anyone know if this is a code regulation?

          How far must a gas dryer vent from a window ? (this seems to be the main issue)


            Hi I am an architect going into the Brooklyn DOB tomorrow to hopefully priority pre-file dir 14. Ive been told that same day review to generate objections is available, but its not clear to me if this is manhattan only…any bklyn expediters out there who can confirm? thanks


              Is it permissible to add a 1-2 car garage to my R2A property? I checked my lot coverage and my existing house covered nearly 30% of the lot already, which is the max. Can i still get a permit for this thing to be built? what is the process to getting a permit.



                We live near the worst house on the block… 432 Clermont Ave in Ft. Greene.

                The house is so special that it The New York Landmarks Conservancy Endangered Buildings Initiative.


                From what we hear on the block, it’s been sitting in its current state for 15-20 years. The woman who owns it inherited it and refuses to do anything with it. We actually tried to buy it when we were looking at our place. She claims she’s going to renovate it and even has a plan on file with the city, but that was a few years ago and nothing’s happened. The building has violations going back to 2002. It seems that several years ago, the city boarded up the basement and parlor floors. The 3rd and 4th floors do not have a pane of glass in the windows, front or back. There’s holes in the skylight. You can see from the back that the plaster has fallen long ago and the lathe that the plaster was mudded to is falling in as well.

                We’ve called the DOB via 311 to complain and they’ve done nothing. We also always leave our information as a contact and ask that they contact us to gain access for a view of the rear. You can see on the back of the house that there is mortar missing from the brick joints and that some of the bricks are swelling. Our complaints are always about the rear of the house, believe it or not, the rear is in worse shape than the front. One of two things happen with our complaints. One, an inspector comes out, notes in the file that the building is sealed and they were unable to gain access. Or two, that they came and inspected the building from the front and there is no problem.

                Yes the building is Landmarked. Landmark has done nothing about the building either. Somehow I don’t think a sheet of plywood for a front door is period correct. There are no open violations for the address with Landmark. We checked. We also asked Landmark why they’ve taken no action and got silence as a reply.

                Is there anything we can do to get somebody to do something? I’d hate to see nothing happen and the same thing happen to 432 Clermont as happened to a similar house down the block, 348 Clermont, which was well chronicled on this site.


                It seems 348 Clermont was in similar shape, nobody did anything about it, the owner refused to sell and the city didn’t step in until the roof fell in and the mess needed to be cleaned up.

                So I come to you Brownstoner forum, is there anything that can be done to avoid a similar tragedy?


                  Musical chairs at DOB on April 15. Fatma Amer, First deputy commissioner is retiring with the vacated coveted spot being given to current Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Thomas Fariello. Brooklyn Deputy John Galagher to get the no. 1 spot on Brooklyn and Frank Marchiano, SEP chief in Queens to get the no. 2 spot in Brooklyn!!