Saturday, December 14, 2013
Huang will get away with it because DOB and CPC are fighting
From the Queens Chronicle:
Aside from strong community resistance, the projects could not be implemented because the property is in the Fresh Meadows Special Planned Community Preservation District.
No changes can be made in the district without approval from the city Planning Commission. Then, the developer must also go through a lengthy and expensive Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.
A spokesman for the CPC deferred to the Department of Buildings, which enforces illegal changes made in a special district.
According to the DOB website there are three complaints that have not yet been resolved. They deal with illegal removal of the trees and expansion of the driveway with permits. A DOB spokesman was unable to answer why a fine has not been issued to Audrey Realty, an arm of Huang’s operation.
But Florence Fisher, president of the Mid Queens Community Council and a member of Community Board 8, said she was informed that no action has been taken because the DOB and CPC are arguing over the meaning of “substantial changes” to the property. “Trees give off oxygen and we need them,” Fisher said, adding that it’s time for the city to make an amendment to the law and include trees.