Saturday, February 8, 2014

Klein Farm tenant takes responsibility for arboricide

From the Times Ledger:

Tenants of the historic Klein farm in Fresh Meadows accepted responsibility for cutting down trees and altering the driveway of the property without permits at a hearing Tuesday.

A stop-work order and a violation had been issued to the property’s owner, Audrey Realty, by the city Department of Buildings in December for “illegal tree removal, work without a permit” and “substantial modification of existing landscaping in a special district,” according to the DOB.

Ziming Shen, who owns the Preschool of America that occupies the farm, at 194-15 73rd Ave., attended the Environmental Control Board hearing instead of the property’s owner, Henry Huang, son of notorious Queens developer Thomas Huang.

Shen acknowledged that at least two trees had been cut down and the driveway had been altered, but insisted it was to ensure the safety of the children who attended the facility.

“We tried to do our best. We don’t know exactly what kind of special zoning it is,” he said. “We want to provide a safe environment for our children and parents.”

It was not known how many trees were removed.

The Klein farm, Queens’ last family-owned working farm, sits in the Fresh Meadows Special Planned Community Preservation District, meaning no substantial changes can be made to the property without the consent of the City Planning Commission.

Shen contended the trees were cut down because of damage Superstorm Sandy had caused and because one tree was hollow inside and infested with raccoons.

One of Shen’s employees, Stephanie Zhu, gave testimony at the hearing and said she tried to get in touch with city agencies to get permission to cut down the trees at the direction of Shen’s wife, Joanne Fan.

She claimed she spoke to someone at DOB on the phone as well as the city Parks Department, who told her she did not need their permission. She said she also sent letters to the two agencies requesting permission to cut down the trees. She said she did not follow up in person, but received an e-mail response from a Parks official.

But she did not attempt to contact the City Planning Commission, which would be the proper authority to contact, said Vivian Currie, the attorney representing DOB.


Anonymous said...

I see nothing wrong with cutting down some trees. As a former longtime resident in that area, the trees are rotten, too late to be saved and dangerous in the right wind or storm.

All the trees in the area are rotten and puke large branches on the street.

Anonymous said...

What total bullshit! The Chinese are notorious for cutting down trees all over Queens.

They should be booted off the property. This is the first step towards destroying the farm. Sooner or later it will be multiple-family orange Fedders Queens crap (no offense Crappy!).

How many day care centers do we need in Queens? They're everywhere. And you never see kids going in or out of most of them - they're just fronts.

Kick these people out!!!!

Anonymous said...

He has no respect for our landmarks. Huang should just be deported for all the crap he's done to nyc land. He's never going to stop his disaster path.

Anonymous said...

They keep squirting out anchor babies, so they keep needing to convert every cubbyhole into a daycare center.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #2 is probably correct. Start observing how many children are attending the day care centers in your community.

Anonymous said...

Funny story -- I was told that at the ECB hearing last week, the attorney for the City showed pictures taken from Google Earth and from QueensCrap. The hearing judge asked about the latter.

The attorney repeated that the pictures were from QueensCrap.


"QueensCrap - C- R- A- P"

"Queens Crap???"

"Yes, it's a blog."

The way it was told to me, it sounded like an Abbott and Costello routine.

Queens Crapper said...

That just made my weekend.

Anonymous said...

The day care owners, husband and wife, are committed felon for stealing children's lunch money (funded by the city) to buy their luxury condo in Manhattan few years ago.

Anonymous said...

I am certain that the local electeds, the community papers, and the local community boards will discuss this.