The City of New Rochelle Bureau of Buildings on Friday issued a Notice of Violation for Unlawful Occupancy for 10 Congress Street to Mr. Carl Carilli more than 18 years after Carilli first filed for a building permit for the dwelling which he has occupied illegally for years, according to sources familiar with the matter. The Bureau of Buildings has given Carilli until November 9th to file the required documents and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.
Sources tell Talk of the Sound a Bureau of Buildings official examined the folder for 10 Congress Street as a result of work on a nearby property not owned by Mr. Carilli and discovered the open building permit.
Fines for occupying a dwelling without a Certificate of Occupancy were up to $100 per day in 1991. That amount has been increased to $250 per day today. Based on the 1991 figure, the total amount of potential fines to an amount in excesses of $650,000, although sources say such fines are unlikely since no court order was ever filed against Mr. Carilli. That might changed because the Notice of Violation issued last week for fines up to $250 per day and imprisonment for not more than 15 days or both for each day the violation continues after notification.
Mr. Carilli first filed for a building permit for 10 Congress Street in March, 1991, to construct a two story two family dwelling with outdoor parking for two passenger cars. The permit was approved in October 1991 with a long list of items to be added to the permit. No Certificate of Occupancy was ever issued.
A Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued by the New Rochelle Bureau of Buildings certifying a building's compliance with applicable building codes and other laws, and indicating it to be in a condition suitable for occupancy. It is typically required to obtain a mortgage, homeowners insurance and to show clear title to the property at time of sale. Experts tell Talk of the Sound it is difficult to imagine how Carilli was able to go so long without a Certificate of Occupancy and that he ran a tremendous risk in doing so because insurance companies would likely deny claims in the event of a fire or other damaged to the dwelling.
Mr. Carilli, who runs his business as a licensed plumber out of his home at 10 Congress Street, has built and/or improved several dwellings in New Rochelle and would have every reason to be familiar with the building permit process including the need to close out a permit by obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy. Reached at 10 Congress Street, both his home and place of business, Carilli declined to explain how he came to be living in a home with no Certificate of Occupancy.
A review of the Bureau of Buildings folder for 10 Congress Street reveals a confusing set of documents, including forms filed by Mr. Carilli and the William Widulski, an engineer who has since passed away, that are replete with errors ranging from misidentifying the lot number, to leaving out the street address, to referencing the wrong building permit number. The paper trail ends in 1991 and then picks up again this year when work began on the adjacent property.