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A. Thomas Levin Quoted In The Island Now, "North Hills Denies Building Permit Extension for I.U. Willets Home"

Dec 22, 2017Local Government and Land Use

Village of North Hills trustees denied a request on Wednesday to further extend a building permit for construction of a home on I.U. Willets Road that has shown little progress, Mayor Marvin Natiss said.

The board unanimously rejected the request of Manheet Singh, who has been building a home at 90 I.U. Willets Road since the permit was transferred to his name in November of 2013, North Hills Building Department Superintendent Donald Alberto said. An extension was granted on May 17 for 30 days followed by a second on Sept. 19 for 45 days and another on Nov. 15 for 30 more days.
The Village of North Hills Board of Trustees denied a request to extend a building permit for Manheet Singh’s 90 I.U. Willets Road property, which has been under construction since 2013. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)
Singh, who was not at the meeting, sent a letter to the village on Tuesday asking for another extension. Trustees said Singh was not able to make the meeting because he was out of the country. “Meanwhile, Mr. Singh has appeared before us at least three times and has promised us the work would be completed within the next month,” Natiss said. “The last time we extended it beyond 30 days because he was due in court, and the court had to be adjourned because he had an extension until tonight. And lo and behold, the day before he’s supposed to be here, he sends us a letter that he’s not delaying the job willingly.” Before the permit was extended in May, Singh was charged with working without a permit, and the court case is still pending, Village Attorney A. Thomas Levin said. In previous meetings, Singh has told trustees he was waiting for an electrician to install a heating unit so a plumber could install pipes before the wood floors are installed. Alberto said, however, he has been asking Singh for at least five months to show any proof of work and has recommended he find new contractors. “I’ve asked him to present proof that he’s been doing something to the board,” Alberto said. “Show us bills, show us any kind of progress. I suggested he might get an attorney because the board is losing their patience. I don’t know if he’s done a thing.” The exterior of the home is also not finished, Alberto said, and he has asked Singh to at least finish the garage doors and exterior siding “to make the house presentable to the neighborhood.” Throughout the extension process, trustees have said they continued to extend the permit because they did not want an unfinished home sitting in the village. Levin said for Singh to get another permit, he would have to reapply. “Frankly, I don’t like to be played,” Natiss said. “I felt sorry for the guy once, twice, three times, but three strikes and you’re out.”