For community activists throughout Queens who feel that yard violations are becoming a creeping concern to their communities, getting into someone’s yard (as in their business) at least, is the only way to curb violations.
“Enforcement seems to be the bottleneck,” said Alex Blenkinsopp of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association about the slow response he says the city has on checking in on the violations.
For Blenkinsopp, implementing yard laws requiring greenery has been an ongoing struggle since the Yards Text Amendments was passed in 2008. Propelled by elected officials such as then-Councilman and now state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Whitestone), who were concerned about the quality of life and the stress to the environment in low-density neighborhoods, the laws restrict what a homeowner could do to his or her outside property.
Prior to the code changes, front yards were not required to be planted but with them, a certain percentage of greenery had to be planted based on square footage, with 20 percent for a yard less than 20 square feet and 50 percent for a yard 60 square feet or greater. The laws also addressed limiting the number of parking spaces, curb cuts and fence height.
Despite Blenkinsopp submitting several complaints to the DOB, which would issue the violations, he says their response is slow and not thorough enough.
One of his grievances over an allegedly illegal curb cut and driveway was dismissed altogether since at the time of inspection, “they couldn’t locate the illegal driveway, even though the resident had put a sign on his fence demanding that people not block his ‘driveway,’” he said.
A search on the DOB’s website of a block in Forest Hills known to many as home to “McMansions,” shows four other instances of investigations which were also “resolved” because no violations were found at the time of inspection for curb cuts. One complaint entered in October 2012 for illegal paving has yet to be inspected.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Too much paving
Posted by Queens Crapper at 12:25 AM
Labels: Forest Hills, McMansion, overdevelopment, paving, Tony Avella
These houses are so ugly! They destroy the neighborhood by building these ugly things, not to mention, they usually use cheap looking exteriors to give other the illusion that the house is actually made of brick.
SUPER HALAL MEAT / BELROSE MEATS / VALLEY DISCOUNTS 99 CENT STORE
253-06 Hillside Avenue, Bellerose
Not to sound like a broken record but this location is a great example of the problem.
And some of the ones in Forest Hills are being used for religious purposes, I guess to avoid paying taxes, but nothing is being done about it!
I called DOB and gave them 25 addresses within two blocks of where I live in Jamaica regarding illegal curb cuts/illegal driveways. Their response, "It can take up to 90 days and to let you know this is not on the top of our priority list". When I asked what exactly is on the top of DOB's priority list, he did not respond.
I went onto DOB' site with all the addresses I gave him to find out these properties where beginning to do this back in 2005 and neighbors reported this. DOB went out back then and stated for many, "We see no violation" or "We saw no car parked there" (even though the curb had been cut and a driveway put in) or they gave a violation (but it continued), but yet all the properties back in 2005 finished their illegal curb cuts/driveways.
DOB is so useless, along with so many other agencies in NYC when it comes to quality of life. They just don't give a shit.
DOB is so useless, along with so many other agencies in NYC when it comes to quality of life. They just don't give a shit
I agree, so what should we do
Enough already, the system isn't working and has to be fixed.
Laws need to be enforced, agencies need to do their jobs and our politicains need to change the laws.
Why isn't the Mayor and City councel changing the laws so that fines owed for these violations are paid. The system isn't working and our politicans need to change the laws
I nominate the one at the corner of Murray Street and 25th Avenue as the "most hideous" of Queens Crap.
This is what happens when you let 3rd world trash do what they want.
I reported several illegal conversions from 2 family to three and illegal basement apartments to the DOB and nothing happened. I even showed the DOB inspector that a two family house had three electric meters outside and still nothing.
I then reported them to Dizzy Lizzy's office and was told they'd get right on it.
Three years later nothing has been done or will be done. One can pay off the DOB inspectors as proven in the past and get away with violations.
B-b-but Barbara Corcoran says paving your front yard over will increase the value of your property...
Hey Kevin, I can just see some home owner in Park Slope, Fort Greene, etc. paving over their front yard and cutting the curb.
The crap would hit the fan right quick.
Hell hath no fury like a hipster scorned!
The laws will never be changed.
The developers are in bed with every Queens politician. Our electeds have sold our borough down the river all for pocket change!! Speak up everybody!!!
Forest Hills is notorious for this. The politicians and officials there are as corrupt as can be.
Watch out for sneaky Judy Markowitz, real estate agent and owner of Energized Realty in Flushing on Francis Lewis Blvd. She is selling houses to illegals and people from China who don 't live here in full cash. How do you think her houses get sold in a week or less. Her motto "Judy did it again" and again and again. One of the beautiful houses she sold across from Bowne Park(which is under the National Historic Register) to an asian was completely knocked down, with permits only allowing for alteration. This is the type of ppl she sells to, people who don't respect, understand, know or care about rules and regulations of NYC. JUDY and her business operations needs to be
This type of horrendous houses are being built by Asians, Arabs, some Latin Americans with bad taste, Indians, Pakistanies and some other ethnicities since in their respectives countries they try to copy USA homes in order to gain social status but their building technology and knowledge is somewhat different than ours.
It's not that much their fault, it's the city for allowing them to destroy the identity of our neeighborhoods.
"...which is under the National Historic Register..."
Huh??? Why was that house under the register? It was no different from all the others facing the park.
All the houses facing the park are on the register.
There's no much crap now, that anything with any aesthetic sense has to be pointed out to you.
Even the smallest changes made in my neighborhood follow these rules: (1) use the cheapest materials, (2) be sure is looks like you used the cheapest materials, and (3) make sure it looks stupid and unattractive.
I did a Google Earth virtual tour of the houses facing Bowne Park on all four sides and found only three examples of Queen's crap recently built. The original houses are fantastic.
I don't think it's appropriate to blame Markowitz for the people she sells to, unless she's encouraging them to this kind of behavior.
"I don't think it's appropriate to blame Markowitz for the people she sells to, unless she's encouraging them to this kind of behavior."
Well why sell to illegals and people who don't even live in the US primarily. It just seems to good to be true that a house is sold in a week or less than a week with Judy and the monies seem to be coming from China.
Broadway-Flushing is a gem to Queens and should be landmarked as well as other areas and buildings before it's too late. We need to start preserving Queens better, it really does have a lot of beauty let's please get the ball rolling before it is too late. On a happy note the preservation of the Pavilion is a start!
Local electards to Queens residents
Let them eat Fedders !
My downstairs neighbor is actually planning on pouring conrete over our nice little yard. Her father owns the building so she thinks she can do as she pleases, and I've tried to explain that it's not going to be that simple, but apparently it will be :/
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