An unfinished apartment building on Stratford Road at the western edge of Ditmas Park has sparked complaints from nearby residents.
"It's been sort of a blotch on the block, on the neighborhood for a few years," said Robert Pandolfo, co-president of the Beverly Square West Neighborhood Association.
"It's been sitting as you see here I would say about a year a half, maybe two years," he said.
Pandolfo doesn't think the incomplete grey brick structure, currently surrounded by a plywood wall which has attracted graffiti, fits with the rest of the neighborhood full of vintage Victorian-style homes.
"Overall we think it's a beautiful neighborhood, and we are in the process of applying for landmark status with New York City," he said.
According to the Department of Building's Brooklyn Borough office, permits for construction were first issued on May 6, 2009. Most recently, the site's owner had permits to build a front and rear extension dating from 2011, nothing more recent than that.
"Tell them listen, don't put your nose where you don't need to put your nose," said the site's Gershon Matiteeb, owner of the lot and of All In One Wheels & Accessories located on the other side of Coney Island Avenue from the site.
"From the beginning they called the inspector every two seconds," he said. "Now they have the guts to call me and ask what's going on. They stop ten time my job."
"This is not their problem what is going to be built. Seventy times they call the ... inspector, 70 times for nothing."
Neighbor Glenn Wolin, an independent real estate manager with experience with zoning issues, sympathizes with the homeowners but understands Matiteeb's dillema.
"He paid a good amount of money for that house. He paid to demolish it, and he paid to get the building to where it is. So he's got a lot of money invested," said Wolin.
"I became one of a number of people who worked for four and a half years to get the zoning designation changed," he said, adding that this was before Matiteeb had begun his project.
"The heart of the neighborhood was (zoned as) a R3X. Which is not terrible, but allows for three-story row houses. But on the west side of Stratford, from Beverly down to the end of Ditmas, was a R6."
"A R6 has no real height limitations," Wolin said, "That is if you had a big enough plot of land, where you could put in an outside parking lot, maybe a little green space, or the building was only a small portion of it, you could go up 10, 15, 20 stories."
"So he revised it, and he decided he was going to build himself a house. I saw the plans for this house," said Wolin.
But, Wolin said, those plans would exceed the allowances for how the plot is now zoned.
"There's no question neighbors didn't like this idea," Wolin said, "It's a Victorian neighborhood, they bought into a Victorian neighborhood, they want Victorian houses. There were some neighbors, I don't know who, who were not happy and were calling the Building Department any time they thought there was something amiss. And there were stop work orders and there was a whole big to-do."
"Although from the drawings I've seen I've seen of it, assuming he's planning on finishing the same building, it's going to be a very nice building. It's going to be very nice."
"It's just going to be completely out of keeping with a Victorian neighborhood."