Proposed Garage Is Source Of Contention In Yorktown

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Yorktown resident Nick Witkowitch is hoping a five-year fight against his neighbor's attempts to build a garage has come to an end. Photo Credit: Contributed

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- It has taken many years and cost thousands of dollars, but Yorktown resident Nick Witkowich is hoping his battle against a proposed garage has come to an end.

New York State Supreme Court, on Nov. 20, overruled a decision by the Yorktown Zoning Board of Appeals that allowed Witkowich's neighbor, Andrew Sabo to build a large car garage on Maple Court.

Sabo's 2,200-foot garage, almost twice the size of his 1,125-foot home, was approved by the Yorktown Building Inspector and by the Zoning Board of Appeals last year.

Witkowich has been fighting the garage for years with a never-ending cycle, he said. The town approves Sabo's plans, he gets an injunction and then Sabo tweaks the plan.

"No matter what we showed the ZBA, they kept approving it," Witkowich said. "Zoning laws don't count apparently. It's  going to ruin Yorktown."

Witkowich said if the garage was built, he would never have privacy. Witkowich said he has spent more than $40,000 fighting the garage in a more than five year legal  fight. 

Witkowich's lawyer, Hawthorne-based Phillip Grimaldi said it has been a frustrating process.

"Hopefully in the end, everything will work out," Grimaldi said. "I think it will."

Grimaldi said the Yorktown ZBA  doesn't understand the law of accessory structures.

"This garage would be so large and out of place," Grimaldi said. "He already has a three-car garage. This is akin to a commercial building."

Grimaldi said if anything else is proposed, he is prepared to go to court and file another injunction.

"Something of that size is inappropriate," Grimaldi said. "We feel vindicated by the judge's decision."

This is the second time, state supreme court has ruled on Sabo's garage, both times in Witkowich's favor.

In 2011, state supreme court overturned a 2009 ruling by the ZBA that gave Sabo the go-ahead for his structure. 

Witkowich said he is no longer on speaking terms with Sabo.

"I am a taxpayer paying the town to fight me," Witkowich said. "The ZBA thinks people can do what they want."

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Comments (4)

Boilermaker:

Once again the Yorktown Zoning Board and Building Inspector has to be taken to all the State Courts to enforce the State Construction code and Town Building code . With a Mickey Mouse commercial garage site plan next to a simple plain home. How can the Town Board keep the same members on the Zoning Board ? When they Never say NO? There decisions never addresses the impact on adjoining property owners. Noise, landscaping , elevations , drainage,

kmrenda:

I applaud Mr. Witkowich and his efforts, and he is not the only beneficiary, the whole neighborhood benefits. How can you allow an individual to build a structure that is almost the twice the size of his house in a neighborhood that consists of small lots? It makes no sense.

YorktownVoter:

The town board is clueless when it comes to zoning. I see all around Yorktown garages turned into Grandma's apartment (illegally) and other illegal basement apartments. Fences around houses which are ridiculous. Have you seen some of the double fences wrapped around some people's houses. Yet, the town board does NOTHING about this and the zoning board ignores all notices and letters from residents. I gather until one of these illegal apartments has a tragedy the town won't do a thing about it.

eyesonyorktown:

This is great news for one neighbor, but what about the rest of the neighborhood. This guy Sabo is always burning his garbage an no one does anything about it not even the fire department next door!

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