Saturday, November 10, 2007

Daily News columnist advocates paving

Q. My wife and I have lived in Queens for the past 10 years and we plan on staying in the area for about another five. We are noticing lately that all of our neighbors are paving their yards and then use the space to park their cars on.

My wife has spent many hours cultivating her plants and would like to keep the garden, but I think having a driveway will help us increase the price of the house when it comes time to sell. What do you think?

A. Hey, a flower garden might look pretty and keep your wife happy, but the space in front of your house is worth a hell of a lot more as a driveway.

You should know that the city council of Queens has just proposed a zoning change that would prohibit residents from paving their yards in some areas.

So get your wife on your side and get a cement truck over there fast.

Not only is this dingbat encouraging people to make illegal alterations but she also thinks that Queens has its own city council! On top of that, she alleges that the Queens City Council proposed the anti-paving amendment, which was actually introduced by the Department of City Planning. Tell her what you think:


Anonymous said...

The Daily News' Barbara is not my cup of tea. I'd demote her for encouraging someone to destroy our quality of life. She is not on the side of the community, so she's a worthless piece of crap.

Anonymous said...

I sent this into Ms. Corcoran:

Barbara, your advice to Queens homeowners to pave over their driveways is ill-advised, short-sighted and frankly, asinine.

Queens loses a little bit more of its vegetation and plant life every day. Green space for wildlife, and places where children can go and actually see something NOT made of concrete are disappearing by the hour.

This summer alone, as the gardens in front of homes are disappearing by the hundreds and anonymous, utilitarian Fedders homes sans front yards replace beautiful 19th and 20th Century homes, all the trees surrounding Richard Upjohn's St. Saviour's Church were felled, and the mayor and parks commissioner are considering a plan to level the wildwoods surrounding Ridgewood Reservoir.

I realize you're all about real estate and increasing its value, no matter what, but know this: all the money in the world won't buy you oxygen to breathe, and you won't have much if you bulldoze every tree and garden.

Kevin Walsh
author of Forgotten New York, the Ultimate Urban Explorers' Guide to All Five Boroughs, HarperCollins 2006

Anonymous said...

Forwarded to me by Tony Avella's office today, after I alerted him to this column:

November 9, 2007

Ms. Barbara Corcoran

Dear Ms. Corcoran:

I was shocked to learn of your response in your "Ask Barbara" November 9th column regarding the paving over of front yards. First and foremost, property values decline in neighborhoods where owners/developers are paving over front yards.

You may not realize that your advice to the family to "get a cement truck over there fast" appears to condone actions that are, in fact, illegal.

Please understand that while there has been no law restricting the type of surface a property owner may place on their front yard - it is illegal to park on the front yard. You may park in your garage or on your driveway apron, but not on the traditional front lawn area.

It is also illegal for anyone to pave over a large portion of their yards (front, backyard and side yards) without obtaining a permit from the Department of Buildings. You must also by law, maintain storm water runoff on your own property. Concrete paving affects the run-off and could subject the property owner to further violations.

Green lawns improve property values, help the environment and do not overburden the city storm water system, which was never designed to handle runoff from private property. I have long advocated for regulations to prohibit the paving over of front yards for these very reasons.

Finally, the Department of City Planning has announced new regulations (which you refer to in your column) that would require greenery. It is the right thing to do and I support it.

In the future, please feel free to call me, as Chair of Zoning for the City Council, for more accurate information regarding these types of issues.


Tony Avella
Chair, Zoning and Franchises
Council Member
District 19-Northeast Queens

Anonymous said...

probably just trying to stir up interest in her column by taking a radical perspective. Corcoran, herself, probably has a large yard with a lawn and garden and wouldn't think of replacing them with concrete in a million years.

Anonymous said...

I don't read the DN rag - they cater to another audience that don't own homes.

Paving over the front yard is prevalent now, however this may be illegal in certain instances and certainly doing a curb cut to accommodate access is illegal without first applying for a permit. The city takes exception to this practice and does not permit this unless it is for handicap reasons - difficult approval process. The pave over eliminates the few legal street parking spaces.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm ...

Well we do have (Eastern) Queens Civic Congress and a host of preservation groups in the city.

If they were doing their work this would not be an acceptable thing to say in public.

I guess they are sitting around making lists, gaining 'access' and passing around the wine.

faster340 said...

My email to Ms. Corcoran...

Hey Ms. Corcoran... Check this out...

Lets send a cement truck over to your house and borough... I think you have cement in your head!

Russell Martilla
"Keep Queens Cement Free"...

Anonymous said...

Ugly is as ugly does.

Anonymous said...

What a fucking dip shit thing to say.

Anonymous said...

Makes perfect sense, so long as your goal is to increase flooding during heavy rainstorms.

Anonymous said...

Here's yet another blow dried air head
passing herself off as a "columnist"!

She's probably giving a ---- job right now
to some "developer" !

What a bimbo !

Anonymous said...

Send Corcoran back to Manhattan!

Anonymous said...

Given that she is condoning actions that are at best detrimental to her clients and at worst illegal, shouldn't the New York State Association of Realtors ( and the Real Estate Board of New York ( be aware of this?

They might not do much, but they should at least know about it.

Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Thank you for covering this. My $.02: Barbara Corcoran Hates the Earth.

Anonymous said...

Identify the traitors and deport them to Siberia. The Corcoran Development Group is one of them.