Saturday, November 28, 2015

Arsonists didn't just damage homes under construction

Legislation would protect homeowners from sidewalk fines

From the Queens Gazette:

Assemblyman Michael DenDekker was joined by state Senator Tony Avella to host a press conference announcing new legislation on damaged sidewalk repair. Assemblyman DenDekker and Senator Avella’s bill will remove the burden of paying for damaged sidewalks away from property owners and hold the City of New York accountable.

“Oftentimes, homeowners are not responsible for damage to sidewalks in front of their homes, however, are forced to pay massive fines for repairs. This is unfair to the hardworking taxpayers of New York City, and we would like to make a change. That is why we have introduced new legislation regarding sidewalk repair: to protect homeowners, small business owners, and non-profits throughout the City of New York” said DenDekker.

The Assemblyman also pointed out that this policy is most harmful to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents: “The fines for these repairs often run in the thousands of dollars. This is an absolutely devastating fine for a senior citizen on a fixed income or a working class New Yorker. This administration has placed a huge amount of emphasis on income inequality, and this bill will allow the city to ease an undue burden.”

CB7 wants Waterpointe property rezoned

From the Times Ledger:

Community Board 7 is looking to rezone the Waterpointe site in Whitestone because it contends the developer did not provide a deed restriction ensuring that only homes are built at the site. The developer maintains that it has provided the board with everything it has requested.

At its monthly board meeting Nov. 9 at the Union Care Plaza Center at 33-23 Union St. in Flushing, the board recommended that the 18-acre site, on which 52 single-family homes will be built, be downzoned specifically for residential family homes.

Gene Kelty, CB 7’s chairman, said the developer, Edgestone Group, did not provide a deed restriction for the site at 151-45 Sixth Road.

“Now that they didn’t do what we asked them to do, which was a deed restriction, and we’re not positive they’re going to build exactly what they said they were going to build, that’s why we want to change the zoning,” Kelty said.

Joseph Sultana, an architect who represented Edgestone Group at the CB 7 board meeting, said that when they met with the board early in October, the board asked them to provide a notarized letter from the property owner stating that the developer will put in place a deed restriction.

He said the board promised to vote on the special permit for the property in return.

The developer sent the letter to the board for approval but did not hear back. The board then decided to table a decision and told Edgestone that it wanted a deed restriction, he said. Sultana said the developer e-mailed the board a copy of the deed restriction it requested Nov. 4 but at the Nov. 9 meeting, they were told that the deed restriction was not good enough.

Consultants may be considered lobbyists soon

From the Daily News:

A slew of prominent communications firms may be forced to register as lobbyists under a proposal by the state ethics commission.

The plan would force private consulting groups that have helped craft messages for lobbying efforts to register with the state. Until now, their activities have not been considered lobbying.

Under a proposed advisory opinion by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, a person or firm would be required to publicly disclose their activities with the state if they helped set up a meeting with a public official, had direct interaction with an official in connection with an advocacy campaign, or provided substantive or strategic input on both the content and delivery of a message.

The Joint Public Commission on Public Ethics is seeking comments through Dec. 4 on its proposal. At some point after that, the commission will decide whether to approve it.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Jackson Theater a goner

From the Queens Gazette:

The end is near for the historic Jackson Theater. The property, located at 40-31 82nd St. in Jackson Heights, is currently owned by Sona Realty Corp. and is under contract with Sun Equity Partners. According to David Alani of Inline Realty, which is brokering the deal, Sun Equity Partners plans to demolish the 80-years-plus theater and rebuild and lease the space.

People with high incomes living in public housing

From PIX11:

PIX11 Investigates has found over 1,500 households earning six-figure salaries while living in New York City Housing Authority apartments.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

New zoning code?
Small houses raised for towers?
People thinking their neighborhoods were just fine without government intervention?
Familiar story.

Unfortunately, this time around, our electeds are most likely out to screw us.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Yet another Forest Hills fire

From the Daily News:

A two-story home in Queens was destroyed by fire late Wednesday — the latest in a string of suspicious fires to come under investigation, firefighters said.

Firefighters received a call around 11:21 p.m. for a fire on 67th Dr. near 108th St. in Forest Hills, according to an FDNY spokesman. The fire became a second alarm within three minutes and took about an hour to bring under control.

Wednesday’s fire was the third to strike the neighborhood in the last three weeks.

Happy Thanksgiving from Queens Crap (and a real turkey)!