Monday, January 9, 2012
Letter to the editor of the Times Ledger:
As the first vice president of the Auburndale Improvement Association Inc., it is part of my responsibility to address community problems.
We have received many complaints about a group of four new attached, two-family homes that were completed several years back. They are at 47th Avenue and 198th Street in Auburndale, in Flushing. They have been vacant since they were built because the owners were unable to secure certificates of occupancy.
The garages are underneath the homes. Some attempt was made to board up the front and garage doors and some of the windows, but the garage doors on two of the units are open enough so that they are accessible to wanderers, squatters and vandals. This is a situation where public safety is at risk. Anyone could get into these two buildings and cause all types of mayhem. Also, the grounds are covered with garbage and litter and this property is a deplorable blight on this fine neighborhood of one- and two-family homes.
These problems have been reported by my civic many times to 311 and by letters for action, but these problems have not been resolved. State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) have all been contacted and have been responsive to the situation.
They have all written letters to the city Department of Buildings and Avella has also contacted the city Departments of Sanitation and Health. With all of this help, practically nothing has been done by city agencies to secure the buildings or clean up the grounds. This has been going on for months. It is unacceptable.
The DOB visited the site in November and issued a violation. It came again in December, according to the DOB website, and, strangely enough, nothing wrong was observed. Our civic demands this site be secured and cleaned.
We understand that in instances such as this the DOB will erect a chain link fence around the open property at owner expense. This must be done to protect adjacent neighbors. Sanitation should also come in to clean up the site, with the bill sent to the owners.
We cannot understand why the owners of this property allow this site to deteriorate in this manner. There have been many other issues with this construction site over the years, including the fact that the front of the four homes have no access to the street.
This is another example in which this type of development is inappropriate and problematic for the surrounding community and city agencies are ineffective.