Community Board 7 gave a resounding no to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to consider looking at legalizing basement apartments at a meeting Monday night.
The board unanimously voted to support a non-binding resolution declaring its opposition to the idea.
“This is out in the forefront right now,” board member Tyler Cassell said at the meeting. “We have to let them know we strongly oppose this.”
CB 7’s neighbor to the east, CB 11 passed its own resolution denouncing the possible legalization of basement apartments in April. CB covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point and Bay Terrace, while CB 11 covers Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck and part of Auburndale.
De Blasio included the policy as part of his plan to build 200,000 units of affordable housing. His Housing Department commissioner, Vicki Been, recently stressed to a Queens Borough Board meeting the administration has not committed to anything concerning legalizing basement apartments other than taking a look at the possibility.
Board members scoffed at the idea, saying it would do nothing to address affordable housing problems and that it would lead to violations of the neighborhood’s zoning laws.
“The reason you can’t rent out [your basement] is the same reason you bought the house in the first place: It’s a single-family detached house,” CB 7 Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian said.