Monday, July 9, 2012
This land is DOT's land
From the Times Ledger:
The city Department of Transportation owns a small grassy plot of land in College Point, but condo owners nearby have been footing the bill for its upkeep.
Representatives from Bay Park Estates said they have been paying for landscaping for the small green parcel of land, at the corner of Poppenhusen Avenue and 115th Street, since the 1980s because of a contract that has long expired, if it ever existed at all.
In 1986, the then-owner of the condo complex apparently entered into an agreement with the city. In exchange for a 15-year tax break, the owner would provide upkeep to the verdant parcel owned by the city.
That tax break expired, but the condo is still stuck with the cleaning bill, according to the realty firm that represents the condos.
DOT confirmed that it indeed owns the land, according to a spokesman.
Bay Park had long assumed it owned the grassy spot with choice views of the Manhattan skyline until earlier this year, when it wanted to double check with the city Parks Department on whether or not it could put in some new plantings, according to Paul Kupetsky, a condo owner who represents others in the enclave.
Kupetsky was surprised to learn that the mini-park area was actually mapped as a city street and thus under the purview of DOT.
DOT said it has been in contact with local stakeholders to set up a transfer of maintenance rights under which the condo could lease the land from the city.
But Kupetsky said he reached out to DOT and did not receive any offers to transfer ownership of the property.