From the Queens Gazette:
On Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008, Dutch Kills got the zoning its residents had long sought, but there remained for them the problem of hotel building in the neighborhood. Since all hotel development had to stop by that date if a foundation had not been sufficiently installed, many builders were busy in that first week of the month, realizing their time was limited. According to a speaker at the February meeting of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, Department of Buildings (DOB) photographers took pictures of 20 building sites in Dutch Kills on October 5 and 6 and, when the zoning was passed by a City Council vote October 7, 14 of those sites were said to be in condition to proceed and six were not. Between then and the end of the year, the speaker added, DOB conducted 180 inspections, "monitoring these guys to the best of our ability".
The speaker, Donald Ranshte, director of intergovernmental and community affairs at DOB, was in attendance at the meeting in the St. Patrick's school cafeteria with a liaison, Steven A. Figueiredo. Their presence indicated that DOB may become as familiar at DKCA meetings to come as the Department of City Planning was at meetings past, as the zoning plan was being worked out.
The first question for the DOB representatives was about the alleged five-day delay in the city council's zoning change in early October, a delay that would allow hotel builders in Dutch Kills to solidify their foundations. Ranshte said he had no information about it. Megan Friedman, a 28th Street resident, supplied her own, attributing the delay to City Councilmember Eric Gioia, whose 26th council district includes Dutch Kills. She added that the six site holders whose foundations were not laid in time, leaving them non-vested, were still trying to build despite being disqualified; Ranshte said that was not unheard of. George Stamatiades said that such a rush to complete foundations for these hotels might have led to flawed workmanship. If that were true, anything built upon such foundations could be permanently unsafe, he said.
Graphic from Daily News.