From the Daily News:
GEORGE MOSCHATOS has worked on Rockaway Blvd. and First St. for more than 40 years. But lately, the 63-year-old boat shop owner is starting to feel like the streets are shrinking around him.
His neighbor recently knocked down an auto repair shop and built a store that extends out onto First St., making the narrow, winding road even tougher to navigate.
"How is an emergency vehicle going to get through here?" Moschatos asked recently as he stood on the road that separates his store, Argo Boats, from the large empty building at 252-02 Rockaway Blvd. in Rosedale. "It's even worse when there is snow and ice."
Moschatos said the road is only 12 feet wide at one point. A telephone pole sits awkwardly at the base of the sharp turn.
Sketches and paperwork of the site describe the width as closer to 18 feet wide, he pointed out.
"Something bad is going to happen because of this," said Moschatos, who has filed complaints with every imaginable city agency.
As it turns out, community notification isn't required when a property owner needs BSA approval to build an extension on a structure that does not front on an officially mapped street.
Buildings Department officials told Moschatos last week that Queens Borough Commissioner Ira Gluckman personally reviewed the file and visited the site. He determined the building does not encroach onto First St.
Longtime resident David Soto, who lives around the corner, isn't convinced.
"I feel he took part of the street," said Soto, a contractor who has lived in his house since 1982. "There's a fire hydrant by my house. What good will it be if a fire engine can't get to it?"