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Boerum Hill Homeowners Pay Over $1K To Sit On Their Own Stoop

A group of homeowners in Brooklyn are paying big money for something that Brooklynites have been doing for years, for free.

While lounging on your stoop should be one of the privileges in owning a home, a group of homeowners in Boerum Hill are paying high prices for it.

In 2005, developers who built a row of townhouses along State Street, struck a deal with the city that allowed them to charge property owners to use their staircases. Property owners who purchased their homes for as much as $2.4 million, pay an addition$1,000 plus thanks to an “illegal” side deal between the developer and city, the New York Post reports.

The side deal saw the developer being allowed to construct the homes’ six foot stairways linking the property with the city-owned sidewalk, but for an additional fee.  In exchange, the city receives a special annual tax — paid for by the residents. In short, residents are effectively “renting” the space where their stoops are.

The deal is also part of a “revokable consent agreement,’’ which means the city can demolish the steps at any time — leaving their townhouse resident with no way of getting in and out of their homes.

Jack Lester, one of the 34 homeowners, sued the city on behalf of the residents in 2015, arguing that the city should only be allowed to enter into said arrangements only for temporary structures. Last week a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge ruled in favor of the city stating the city “acted within its discretion.”

Lester now plans to gather the rest of the homeowners — who were aware of the set-up but still believe it’s illegal — to see if there is any interest in appealing the city’s decision or sue the developer.

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