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Owner fined: filed bad building plan

169 East 117 Street in Manhattan. Image Credit: CityLand.

Owner’s rooftop apartment did not conform to plans filed by architect with the Department of Buildings. In 2003 the Anastasia Pleskun Living Trust purchased the building located at 169 East 117 Street. The Trust hired a licensed architect in 2004 who drew up and filed self-certified plans, a process that bypassed a full review of the plans by the Department of Buildings.

On December 6, 2016 Buildings served a summons on the Trust for constructing an additional room connected to the existing penthouse apartment at 169 East 117th Street contrary to the approved plans that had been filed on behalf of the Trust in 2004.

At the hearing a Buildings officer testified that the rooftop apartment had a room extension not shown on the 2014 construction plans filed with Buildings. The Trust did not dispute that the additional room was not shown on the plans, but argued it should not be held responsible because the room pre-existed the Trust’s purchase of the building. The hearing officer rejected the Trust’s argument and held the Trust in violation of Code Section 28-105.12.2. The Trust appealed.

Code section 28-105.12.2 provides that “all work shall conform to the approved construction and submittal documents.” The OATH Appeals Board affirmed and rejected the prior existence defense. The Appeals Board ruled that the Trust was liable for work not shown on the filed plans even if it did not perform the work. The Board imposed a penalty of $500.

NYC v. Anastasia Pleskun Living Trust, OATH Appeal No. 1700728 (Sept.8, 2017). CityADMIN

By: Thomas Columbia (Thomas is a student at New York Law School, Class of 2019)