From the Times Ledger:
A Douglaston developer who had unusual construction plans for a multiple family home revoked amid outcry from North Flushing residents and City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has applied to the city Board of Standards and Appeals in a bid to resurrect his proposal.
According to BSA records, Paul Rufino has applied for a variance to build a six-family home at 166-43 26th Ave., claiming financial hardship because he had already started to construct walls and foundation around an existing home on the property.
“It is easily the most egregious thing I have seen in my eight years in the City Council and my 20 years in the community,” Avella said.
The peculiar story began in March when Rufino, unbeknownst to his tenants, began construction on several large cinder block walls and portions of a concrete foundation around an existing Tudor home at the site. Avella said Rufino was attempting to grandfather in his plans to tear down the home and build a multiple-family dwelling — which the recently approved North Flushing rezoning does not allow — by completing enough of it before the rezoning was passed by the City Council in May.
Following several protests held by Avella and members of the neighborhood, the city Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order and eventually revoked Rufino’s building permit altogether.
Calls to Rufino’s company, the Douglaston Development Corp., were not immediately returned.