From the Times Ledger:
Community Board 11 voted unanimously to oppose a proposal to clear the way for an empty Bayside lot to be developed after a series of area homeowners testified against the plan at a Monday night meeting.
For Our Children Inc., a holding of Richard Alexander, owner of Lund Fire Products — bordered by 215th Place, 216th Street, 40th Avenue and the Long Island Rail Road — has been trying to develop a vacant lot next to his business for years.
Alexander’s attorney, Simon Rothkrug, presented a proposal to build a 6,790-square-foot, one-story office building on the residential-zoned parcel. In order to move forward with a commercial development on the spot, a variance to allow commercial use would have to be approved.
But CB 11 members and neighbors balked at the idea, saying Lund already contributes to traffic and parking woes in the area and that an office building would be out of character with the existing neighborhood.
The proposed building, which had no committed tenants, would have provided 12 parking spaces, which residents called insufficient.
Alexander was on vacation and unavailable to comment Tuesday.
Rothkrug returned to CB 11 Monday night to present the scaled-back proposal. He said the site could be developed as detached residential but that due to a 2005 downzoning of the area, only four small homes would fit on the property, which would not yield sufficient economic benefit for Alexander.
“The argument that they need a rate of return is simply stating that they made a bad investment and now they want the community board to fix it,” board member Steve Behar said. “The last thing the area needs is more office space .... There’s already too many trucks in this area, and there’s already no parking.”