I own a 2-family house that was built in 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. A few days ago, an inspector came to my door and told me that they received a complaint saying that my private drive-way is illegal and the curb-cut was not on file. The wordings in his summons mentioned that my driveway is only 7' not the 8' required for a driveway. Since there is no garage in the backyard, they would only be consider as an alleyway. Therefore, he ordered us to repair the curb-cut and do not park at that spot any longer.
I told him we purchase the house last year and the curb-cut has been the same way for years, so he said that I could've been fooled into thinking the driveway is legal.
After he left, I went back to my old survey report we got from the attonery and found a survey drawing done by a city surveyor in 1971. The drawing shows the exact dimension of the house and the driveway. My house is semi-attached on the left side, and the right side is the driveway. The driveway is 7' and right next to it is my neighbor's fense seperating a little walkway in their property.
The drawing does not show the curb-cut, but it shows a garage in the back of the driveway. What had happened is the previous owner had a garage in the back, but they torn it down in favor of an above-ground pool. I don't think they ever file for the removal of the garage, and the issue never came up when we got the house.
Now that we have about 40 days to fight this case before we receive a violation. What should I do? i can't imagine living in this house without my parking spot because that's what made this house so valuable in the first place. Should I hire someone to help us? An architect or a lawyer?
Really grateful if someone could help.
By the way, the Complaint shown as follow:
Category Code: 35 CURB CUT/DRIVEWAY/CARPORT - ILLEGAL
PREMISES OPERATES AND ILLEGAL SIDEWALK PARKING SPACEADJACENT TO THE BLDG. POSSESSES NO CURB CUT PERMIT IN BIS
Thanks in advance!!!