Sandra Lee, the Food Network hostess of Semi-Homemade Cooking and girlfriend of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has reportedly been renovating the couple’s Westchester County home without the proper permits, according to The Journal News.
By avoiding the permit process, Lee has likely skirted higher property taxes because the home has not been reassessed for value despite major renovations.
In 2009, Lee purchased the six-bedroom home at 4 Bittersweet Lane in New Castle for $1.2 million, and has been restoring the property ever since. Home renovations from the Semi-Homemade maven, including ripping out “an 80’s-era powder room and ‘icky’ bunny wallpaper” have been featured in New York Magazine, People, and Elle Décor, but were not brought to the attention of the town’s building inspector, Bill Maskiell.
Maskiell told The Journal News that in 2012, it took six months of pursuit before Lee applied for a gazebo and shed that Lee had already installed, and says that her subsequent, undocumented renovations “would definitely require a permit.”
In an email exchange, a representative for the couple wrote of Lee’s home updates that they were “all decorative renovations and they don’t require building permits… It’s like her line of work — decorative.”
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.