It's hard enough to enviously glance in the windows of West Village townhouse buildings without even thinking about how the owners also have backyards behind the buildings. Then you remember the yard and you get even angrier. Well if it was possible to be even angrier than that, now might be the time, because it turns out at least one West Village resident built an elaborate fake backyard to hide illegal excavation work he was doing on his home. Come on man, at least put some buried treasure or a secret lab working on raising Lovecraftian horrors from the deep down there.

The Daily News reports that inspectors who went to 35 Perry Street this past Monday found that homeowner Joseph Ienco created an elaborate fake backyard with astroturf, patio furniture and a large covered wooden enclosure all to hide a massive, illegal excavation going on under the building.

PIX11 reports that neighbors told the Department of Buildings (DOB) that they had seen laborers carrying debris out of Ienco's front door, and could hear banging and digging coming from the house. When the DOB came to inspect the building, the realized that the sham backyard didn't host neighborly barbecues at all.

The News reports that the DOB also found various safety violations and day laborers hiding in Ienco's house and issued a stop work order. A city building inspector said that the illegal excavation could have led to a building collapse and also undermined the integrity of a wall at neighboring 37 Perry Street. Ienco denied any wrongdoing, telling the News he was just trying to "be in peace with the neighborhood," and suggesting plenty of people have done this kind of thing before.

Ienco was allowed to resume work on Thursday, and an independent engineer he hired told the News that he would tell the city that the building is stable.