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Northport officials order trustee's house under construction torn down

Northport trustee Tom Kehoe's project on Mariners Lane

Northport trustee Tom Kehoe's project on Mariners Lane in Northport, seen here on April 29, has been ordered torn down because he did not receive the necessary permits. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Northport officials have ordered the home under construction by village trustee Thomas Kehoe torn down and permits obtained before any future construction can proceed.

In a resolution, Zoning Board of Appeals members Wednesday night cited work on Kehoe's Mariners Lane property undertaken without permits and ordered that "the owner shall be required to remove all framing and wood installed over the foundation."

The board voted unanimously 5-0 in favor of the resolution. The board also voted unanimously 5-0 in favor of ordering a new survey of the property at Kehoe's expense.

Neither Kehoe nor his attorneys responded to requests for comment Thursday. Kehoe last month apologized for not having the required permits before construction started and resigned his position as deputy mayor. He remains in his elected position as a village trustee.

Zoning board officials said in the resolution that differing sets of building plans were submitted to the board and the village Building Department. Discrepancies between the plans include "a completely finished basement with a separate kitchen with more ceiling height than was on the plans submitted to this Board." Additionally, the board cited "a house with lot coverage of 35 percent [is being constructed] where only 32 percent was granted," and that "a house that appears vastly different than the artist's rendering submitted to the Board of Zoning Appeals and the neighboring residents."

The board ruled Kehoe can resubmit plans and restart the permit process from the beginning.

In April, the zoning board issued a stop-work order on the property after determining the foundation and side entrance did not comply with Kehoe's submitted plans.

Suffolk County issued a notice of violation against Kehoe for work on his property that did not have county health department approval and for a septic system that was installed without a county permit. An application resubmitted on May 9 is under review, Department of Health spokeswoman Grace Kelly-McGovern said.

Several of Kehoe's neighbors on Mariners Lane attended the zoning board of appeals meeting.

"Those codes are all in place to protect the integrity of the community," Christine O'Shea said after the meeting. "If you let one person get away with it — and who doesn't follow the rules and asks for forgiveness — it sets a precedent in this charming little village."

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