County orders takedown of new home
But county and town officials have another vision for the property. They say the homeowners, Kenneth and Marie Petty, of Westbury, inadvertently built the 5,400-square-foot home onto about 100 feet of county land -- and must tear down the structure and start over.
"The house was built on county property, not only due to a survey error but their title company didn't pick up on it," said Gil Anderson, the county Department of Public Works commissioner.
It would be easier to demolish and rebuild rather than move the home, officials say. The Pettys' title company will pay for demolition and reconstruction, Anderson said.
The error came to light when the builders -- who had already poured the foundation, put up exterior walls and installed the roof -- discovered a county pipeline was in the way of construction, Anderson said.
Kenneth Petty referred comment to his Queens-based lawyer Max Rinaldi, who did not return several phone calls.
The 1.55-acre parcel -- in a woodsy, quiet neighborhood off Route 111 near Halsey Manor Road -- was vacant until the Pettys bought the property in the summer of 2011, property records show.
John Garramone, a nearby Eastport Manor Road resident, said he watched as construction of the large, four-bedroom, four bath, single-family, started last year, only to stop after the home was nearly finished.
"I'm shocked that such a big house went up so close up to [Route] 111," Garramone said. "I could see someone driving into it in an accident. There's a lot of accidents over here."
The Pettys have been negotiating with the county for about six months, Anderson said. The house will have to be rebuilt about 100 feet south of where it sits, just to the east of the intersection of Halsey Manor and Eastport Manor roads near the Manorville Fire Department.
Complicating matters is that a nearby pond is a state-protected breeding ground for the tiger salamander, state Department of Environmental Conservation officials said.
"DEC is working cooperatively with the landowner and Suffolk County to determine the best course of action to correct the situation and continue to protect necessary habitat to the greatest extent possible," said DEC spokeswoman Aphrodite Montalvo.
The state protects the tiger salamander's breeding ponds, so the DEC has to redraw the boundaries because the house must be reconstructed. Town permits for construction on the house expired in July, so the homeowners will have to apply for new permits, said Brookhaven spokesman Jack Krieger.
"It's a better location for the house," Anderson added. "It wouldn't be a real great place to live," so close to Route 111.