ILLEGAL CONVERSION OF 2 FAMILY HOUSE WITH ILLEGAL BASEMENT/ATTIC & IMPROPER TRASH DISPOSAL AND ILLEGAL GARBAGE DUMPING, NOT BEING RESOLVED BY CITY AGENCIES

THREE CONSTANT PROBLEMATIC ISSUES all near each other.

 

1. Illegal Conversion of 170-09 89th Ave (owned by slumlord Ved Parkash). DOB had posted a vacate order for illegal basement/attic some time ago (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/PropertyProfileOverviewServlet?boro=4&houseno=170-09&street=89%20ave&requestid=0&s=A03C41B885B461E4F46BD08866A7430E), YET, there are a large amount of people in and out of this 2 family house. Last night (6.13.16), I counted 20 small children in and out of it, plus several adults. Besides all the noise of caused by this, there are only two garbage cans, which have huge amount of trash and the cans are not properly covered, always overflowing, plus the huge amount of garbage being dumped on the ground. There is no reason why neighbors have to put up with this illegal nonsense. I have filed several complaints to both DOB (they put a vacant order up, yet it continues to house over 30 people) and to DOS on the improper trash disposal.
Rodent already tearing into this crap

Rodent already tearing into this crap

Illegal Conversion with illegal attic & basemen, filled with 20 slobs and one garbage can provided by slumlord VED PARKASH

Illegal Conversion with illegal attic & basemen, filled with 20 slobs and one garbage can provided by slumlord VED PARKASH

Ah, the new bottom of the barrels have appeared within a day of the vacate order.

Ah, the new bottom of the barrels have appeared within a day of the vacate order.

The low-class bunch attempted to remove DOB's Vacate Order

The low-class bunch attempted to remove DOB’s Vacate Order

4.30.16 001

Of course when I file complaints and DOS come out, sometimes the trash has already been taken away and the I get this response. I know it it a matter of timing, but this house has been a continuous problem and eyesore for the block and should be monitored regularly.
SERVICE REQUEST #: 1-1-1260306921
CREATED ON: 06/05/2016 11:28:59 AM
REQUEST TYPE: Dirty Condition
DETAIL: Trash Disposed Improperly
INCIDENT ADDRESS: 170-09 89 AVENUE
INCIDENT BOROUGH: QUEENS
STATUS: The Department of Sanitation investigated this complaint and found no violation at the location.
LAST UPDATED ON: 06/06/2016 12:00:00 PM

2. Vacant lot (170-19 89th Ave), has been an issue for years with constant illegal dumping in front of it on sidewalk. Again in the past two weeks, I have filed several complaints with DOS, wrote to DOS Commissioner, yet it has not been cleaned up and more and more garbage gets dumped daily. One of my recent complaints stated this:

SERVICE REQUEST #: 1-1-1259689701
CREATED ON: 06/03/2016 8:22:48 PM
REQUEST TYPE: Dirty Condition
DETAIL: Sidewalk Dirty
INCIDENT ADDRESS: 170-19 89 AVENUE
INCIDENT BOROUGH: QUEENS
STATUS: The Department of Sanitation investigated this complaint and found no violation at the location.
LAST UPDATED ON: 06/06/2016 12:00:00 PM

Yet as seen by the photos, there is a violation. And just this morning (6.13.16) as I walked by, the garbage was still there. Both these places have been continual sources of issues and need to be monitored regularly and resolved. Why should a slumlord (along with his low-life slob tenants) and owner of a vacant property hold an entire relatively nice block hostage, while the quality owners on that block pay high taxes.

Garbage6.11.16 003Garbage6.11.16 002

 

3. Vacant eyesore house for years (89-24 168 Pl). A CHRONIC illegal dumping of garbage always. In fact I caught two individuals who lived several blocks away dumping their garbage. Of course I approached them and they moved on after I had them pick up everything they dumped. I even got one of them to show me ID, wonder how I did that. A recent letter sent to me from Senator Avella, stated that DOB found no issue with this place and that it was properly sealed.

Dear Senator Avella:

I am writing in response to your letter to Commissioner Been concerning the condition
of a property located at 89-24 168°’ Place.

An inspector from the Queens Code Enforcement Office conducted an inspection on May 19th, 2016 in response to your request. The inspection found that the building was soundly sealed and that there was no garbage or discarded furniture on the property. There was no cause to warrant the issuance of any violations.

If you have any additional concerns about this matter, please do not hesitate to call me at (212) 863-8594.

To report future complaints, your constituents are encouraged to contact the City’s Citizen Service Center by dialing 311 or visiting their website, http://www.nyc.gov/3 11.  Once a complaint has been made, it will be referred to the appropriate jurisdictional agency. The constituents may inquire about the status of housing maintenance complaints by calling HPD’s Tenant Information Message Service at 212-863-8307, or by visiting our website at http://www.nvc.gov/hpd.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
Sincerely,

Vito Mustaciuolo

Does not look too damn properly sealed to me. The place is falling apart. Senator Avella’s office contacted me today (6.103.16) after sending them a recent photo of this eyesore and will look into.

Garbage6.11.16 042Garbage6.11.16 026

Maybe it is time to bring in WPIX or NY1, since that seems to be the only way for the city to act properly on quality of life complaints, since we know our illustrious “elected officials” certainly will not be stepping up to the plate (except for Senator Tony).

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SOMETIMES DOB GETS IT RIGHT, MOST OF THE TIME THEY ARE LAZY – BUT FOLKS NEED TO STAY ON TIME OF SHIT

Most city agencies are fucking lazy, especially the notorious lazy and corrupt DOB (Department of Buildings), hence, why Queens has so many damn illegal conversions and other DOB issues. They come out (if they do), they inspect and find nothing, they inspect and can’t get into building, try a 2nd time and if they can’t get in again, they close the case, other times they never find the correct address you give the. Always some shit with. BUT sometimes they do get it right, but as with anything, folks need to put in the effort and stay on top of shit and FILE NUMEROUS TIMES.

Cases where they did get it RIGHT (sometimes after numerous complaints:

4.30.16 0014.30.16 002

  1. Illegal conversion of house at 170-09 89th Ave. I have complained several times about this and now they finally got it right, tossing out all the folks and slapping on the old VACATE sign (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/PropertyProfileOverviewServlet?boro=4&houseno=170-09&street=89th%20Ave&requestid=0&s=A03C41B885B461E4F46BD08866A7430E).

illegal conversion 89-19 170thillegal conversion 89-19 170th 2

2.  I had to stay on top of this illegal conversion till they finally slapped the vacate on this property (89-19 170th) a few years back (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/PropertyProfileOverviewServlet?boro=4&houseno=89-19&street=170th%20Street&requestid=0&s=A03C41B885B461E4F46BD08866A7430E).

Fence Falling down24.30.16 0044.30.16 003

3. Fence was falling down at 170-19 89th Ave and they actually was on this one pretty quickly, yet why did they not give a violation for the stored CAT construction equipment that has been sitting on this property for a few weeks.

WHEN THEY GET IT FUCKING WRONG (which is many times).

Trash 4.16.16 008

I MEAN REALLY

I MEAN REALLY

  1. Lot at corner of 162 St and 89th Ave in a residential area, commercial trucks are being parked and waste containers are being stored on property, a big no no in residential areas. Yet even with specific instructions and photos these clowns state they cannot find it.
SERVICE REQUEST #: 1-1-1238886361
CREATED ON: 04/17/2016 7:15:30 PM
REQUEST TYPE: Building/Use
DETAIL: Zoning – Non-Conforming/Illegal Vehicle Storage
INCIDENT BOROUGH: QUEENS
STATUS: The Department of Buildings attempted to investigate this complaint but could not locate the premises. If the problem still exists, please call 311 and file a new complaint with additional information about how to gain access to the building. If you are outside of New York City, please call (212) NEW-YORK (212-639-9675).
LAST UPDATED ON: 04/19/2016 12:00:00 AM
NEXT UPDATE DUE: Closed – No Further Updates

Does this city do anything fucking right.

 

WHAT THE FUCK – FLUSHING ONE FAMILY HOUSE CONVERTED ILLEGALLY TO 15 BEDROOMS – YES 15 FUCKING BEDROOMS

Okay, I know this is not Jamaica news, but I just had to post this because this just shows how out of control this city is and especially Queens.

By the way, this story was first broke on the website Queens Crap, where many people started filing compliants.

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From Queens Courier:

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel
The house reportedly had 16 single rooms with different tenants.

Residents of a Flushing home that had been illegally converted into a 15-bedroom boarding house were ordered to vacate the property immediately after inspectors uncovered the setup with the help of a vigilant group of local homeowners.

Flushing firm Success Team Realty recently began marketing the home — which is located at 33-07 153rd St. — as a 15-bedroom, three-bathroom property with an asking price of just over a million dollars. The listing stated that the owner of the home lived in one of the bedrooms on the property and the rest were rented out for a monthly profit of more than $7,000. The listing has since been removed from the office’s website.

Members of civic group the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association were alerted to the illegal conversion last week when members shared the realtor’s online post listing the house up for sale.

The Department of Buildings was flooded with complaints on the property the following week, with three of the five illegal conversion reports referencing the online for-sale listing. State Senator Tony Avella also weighed in by writing a letter the Department of Buildings requesting an inspection of this property and to the secretary of state requesting an investigation of the real estate agent who posted the listing.

The Buildings Department then issued partial vacancy order on Feb. 23 after inspectors found 10 single-room occupancies throughout the home and three illegal single-room occupancies in the cellar. The order was upgraded to a full vacancy order the next day, after a follow-up visit in which the agency determined that a total of 16 single-room occupancies were established in the residence.

vacate sign

Representatives of Success Team Realty said that the house has since been temporarily taken off the market. A man identifying himself as the owner of the home declined to comment, but did admit the home had been ordered vacant due to the illegally rented rooms and that he was working through the situation with a lawyer.

The Buildings Department has numerous recorded complaints under the same owner, Bing Hee Su, concerning additional instances of illegal conversion, some of which date back to 2005. According to the most recent reports on the building, the latest overcrowded batch of residents also were subjected to dangerous electrical conditions, with extension cords in heavy use throughout the house as permanent wiring.

Former residents of the home could be seen transporting their belongings into a waiting van during their hasty exit on Wednesday, just hours after the total vacancy order was served.

Janet McCreesh, immediate past president of the civic group, said that members are encouraged to be vigilant in reporting illegally converted homes.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to sell a house that’s already subdivided because that’ll just encourage the new owner to continue the illegal situation,” McCreesh said.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE CITY NOT BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE – LETS PUT TOGETHER AN ILLEGAL CONVERSION CAMPAIGN BUT ACTUALLY NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM

At a quick first glance when you see this article below, you say “wow, the City is finally going to clamp down on this major problem of dangerous illegal conversions”. BUT then you look closer and deeper and that is furthest from the truth. It is just another in a long line of useless city campaigns, that sound good, but actually does absolutely nothing and makes the city held unaccountable or to not do, you know, actual work. Such a campaign is like the useless “Just say no to drugs” campaign by Nancy Reagan or the “If you see something, say something” bullshit.

I see something all the time (just see my blog) and say something all the time to all the powers that be and many times they are ignored unless I stay on it for over a year like the illegal truck driving on residential streets.

The problem lies within the city agencies and one of the most inept and corrupt agencies, Department of Buildings. Ever call them on an issue. You will be on the phone for close to an hour being transferred by incompetent city employees who transfer you to the wrong people, who then transfer you back to the first incompetent person who repeats the cycle to other folks, to then find out you have to call back on a Tuesday between the hours of 4pm to 7pm. That actually happened to me when I wanted to get an answer why yet another shit church was being built on a residential street between two houses when it had multiple violations over the years. And in the end, someone comes out, looks at the violation, then states, “no violation at time of inspection” or some other bullshit.

Jamaica and Teddy 4.25.15 006

Another case of government NOT doing their job and passing it on to the people.

Campaigns do not work. WORK actually WORKS.

 

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From Queens Courier:

Photo via Twitter/@NYC_Buildings

Photo via Twitter/@NYC_Buildings
The Department of Buildings, the Fire Department, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development have launched the “Living Safely” campaign throughout the city to raise awareness of and warn New Yorkers about illegally-converted apartments.

New York City is stepping up its efforts to alert residents to the dangers of illegal housing.

The Department of Buildings, the Fire Department, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced on Thursday that they would be running a “Living Safely” campaign throughout the city to raise awareness of and warn New Yorkers about illegally-converted apartments.

The three agencies aim to distribute 10,000 flyers containing tips on recognizing and avoiding illegal apartments, as well as their dangers and consequences. The flyers will be available at elected officials’ offices, community boards, and various transportation hubs, including the 74th Street-Roosevelt Avenue subway station in Jackson Heights.

Illegally-converted apartments are classified as living spaces that have been modified so that more people can live in them without approval from the Department of Buildings. They usually lack at least two entrances or exits, windows, ventilation, and might contain unsafe utilities.

The flyers contain the following 10 safety tips:

  • Avoid apartments priced lower than other apartments in the area.
  • Apartments advertised as being “basement” or “attic” apartments often lack adequate exits.
  • Stay away from apartments that have no windows, or very small windows. These will usually be basement apartments, and are often described as being “sunny.”
  • The word “flex” means that the apartment can be made into a multi-bedroom space with pressurized walls. It is illegal to build any wall without proper permits.
  • A landlord may say “utilities included” to avoid having more names attached to the property, which would indicate that there are more people living there than is allowed.
  • Apartments with “unique” or “interesting” layouts should be avoided.
  • Be careful with landlords who won’t reveal the exact address of the apartment—they may ask to meet a potential renter before giving out an address, in order to avoid fines.
  • Landlords renting out illegal apartments might ask renters to get a post office box rather than having mail delivered to the house.
  • Be wary of landlords who don’t draw up a lease, or ask for payment in cash.
  • Ensure that the apartment has a proper way to get in and out. Tenants should be able to leave the apartment directly or through a public hallway.

 

ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO WANT TO LEGALIZE BASEMENT APARTMENTS MUST LIVE IN ONE IN JAMAICA FOR A YEAR

These shit holes have been cleaned up and a Do Not Enter sign on basement door.

These shit holes have been cleaned up and a Do Not Enter sign on basement door.

Vacate order and Do Not Enter by DOB. Goodbye low class ghetto folks.

Vacate order and Do Not Enter by DOB. Goodbye low class ghetto folks.

Asshole politicians are always stating or doing bullshit that they themselves would not want to deal with, things like putting waste removal facilities in residential areas or putting homeless shelters in communities or allowing 1 family homes torn down to put up crap cheap 4 story third world apartments filled to the brim with people or say  legalizing “basement apartments”.

Sure they vote yes for all these things, but none of them live near a waste facility or have a homeless shelter on their block or live on a residential street where trucks drive illegally 24/7 or live next to a house that has illegal conversions. So you see it is no skin off their ass when they push this shit through.

So here is the deal, if you as an elected official who wants to legalize basement apartments, then you must live in one for a year in Jamaica and your typical Jamaica basement apartment to boot. I think things would run a lot differently if elected officials had to experience the bullshit that they pass like waste facilities and homeless shelters in communities, basement apartments and the other quality of life issues that they always destroy with putting money first and being the bitch for corporations and real estate developers. But sitting in an ivory tower looking down at the serfs gives you a distorted view of something called REALITY.

Politicians without balls,  morals or any common sense. That describes de Blasio & Katz and well as most of Jamaica elected officials and a huge part of Queens as well. Plus ASSHOLES.

This city is bursting to the seams as it is with overcrowding, especially in Queens because of greed and poor zoning and this assholes want to make it even worse. The city cannot function properly as it is because of all the people, but sure let’s add more by making basement apartments legal when you  should be cracking down on all illegal conversions, not making them legal. Twenty years from now, powers to be will look back (as they usually do) and say, Wow, that was not a good idea. By then, too late, the damage has already been done.

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From Queens Times Ledger:

Boro civics oppose legalization of basements apartments

The idea to legalize basement apartments in the borough and the rest of the city is not sitting well with several civic and community associations in the borough.

First it was Mayor Bill de Blasio, who resurrected the conversion idea as part of his affordable housing units plan to add 200,000 units in the next 10 years. And recently, Borough President Melinda Katz, who supports the measure, considered the plan to create new zoning districts for basement and cellar apartments.

At a news conference days before she delivered her State of the Borough Address Jan. 22, Katz said that “illegal conversions lack safety.” She said it was necessary for these converted spaces below ground to be safe.

Those who oppose the idea pointed out that fires in these units had proven to be deadly, and that increasing the capacity in single- and two-family districts overburden the schools, the sewage system and garbage collections.

The Bayside Hills Civic Association is one of the associations fighting to prevent widespread basement living from becoming a reality. The group disagrees with new zoning regulations being proposed to legalize these apartments.

“A basement is no place for someone to live,” said Michael Feiner, president of the civic group. “Zoning regulations are in place for a reason.” Yolanda Gallagher, of the Fresh Meadows Homeoweners Civic Association, said her organization also opposes these conversions.

“It’s just very unhealthy to live in a basement,” Gallagher said. “This is just a bad idea, a very bad idea.”

She noted that basement apartments do not have good ventilation, and most of them have very small windows. “It’s just dangerous to live in them,” she said.

The Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization representing more than 100 civic and condo groups in the borough, is against the legalization of basements “due to life safety, fire, congestion, school overcrowding, crime and overuse of city infrastructure, such as water treatment, sewage and transportation facilities.”

The organizations added, “We believe that most small homes with basements were not built for occupancy below grade.”

In a letter sent by Richard Hellenbrecht, the former president of the Queens Civic Congress, to de Blasio, he noted “legalization of illegal residences would encourage creation of new basements, cellar apartments leading to significant overdevelopment.”

But Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), agrees with Katz’s and de Blasio’s plan to legalize basements and cellars.

“Overcrowding and overdevelopment are a challenge in Corona and the outerboroughs today,” Ferreras said. “If basement apartments are brought up to code, apartments that are already in use in many homes, it would address this shortage of housing while eliminating many threats those unregulated apartments pose to families in our community.”

She added, “Done right, it would be an innovative, sensible solution.”

And Basements Apartments Safe for Everyone, a coalition that favors adding accessory dwellings to the city’s zoning code, said last year that creating a new zoning category would improve an unaffordable housing market.

Researchers said Queens has the most unregulated housing in the city. A report released by BASE in cooperation with the Pratt Center for Community development in 2008 found that South Jamaica and Hollis are in the top-five of the list of neighborhoods with the biggest illegal home market in the city.

Jackson Heights-based Chhaya Community Development Corp., part of BASE, has been working on the issue for the past 10 years.

Its interim executive director, Tenzing Chadotsang, said the group supports legalizing basements in an effort to provide affordable housing “for certain segments of the population and it also gives a source of income to homeowners.”

Chadotsang said the group hopes to work closely with Katz “to determine which are the best areas” to legalize these apartments.

SOUTH OZONE HOUSE EXPLOSION ON THANKSGIVING – SURPRISE, AN ILLEGAL CONVERSION

Why so many quality of life issues go unaddressed in the Jamaica area and why city agencies such as Department of Buildings drop the ball all the time is a mystery to me. A bigger mystery is why our Mayor and our elected officials rarely address this problem.

Illegal conversions as many know, is a major problem in Queens and especially in Southeast Queens in Jamaica, South Ozone, Richmond Hill and other surrounding areas, yet as usual, they never get addressed and with this pretty incompetent Mayor we have, continue to go unaddressed. I am sure everyone reading this probably has a couple of illegal conversions (though some may not even know) on several of their surrounding blocks. I had three within one block from me that I got the city to shut down and those were the ones I knew of.

Now before some you far left liberals start saying “the city is too expensive, what do you expect nonsense”. Yes, this city is extremely expensive and not for everyone, so if you have little means, a low paying job, or whatever, there are a whole shitload of other states and other cities, where one can live much more comfortable without horrible conditions. Second, many of those living in illegal conversions are people of color and immigrants who are put at risk by their slumlord who is taking advantage of the situation, especially with immigrants, knowing full well that these tenants will say nothing. Third and most important, not only are these tenants put in jeopardy when there is a fire or an explosion (such as what happened in South Ozone), but you put neighboring homes and an entire block at risk. And with illegal conversions comes overcrowding, pressure on an otherwise weak infrastructure, the destruction of a neighborhood that these illegal conversions cause (they are eyesores), plus the many problems that illegal conversions cause to communities, garbage (most are disgusting), noise issues (a big problem) and many illegal conversions house not the most upstanding citizens as well as making it a haven for criminals.

The South Ozone house that had an explosion on Thanksgiving Day not only was a major illegal conversion (and dangerous) but had numerous violations that come with these types of dwellings. In the past. Since 1997, this property has had 11 complaints and 4 violations, two were still open at the time of the explosion. And correct me if I am wrong, but this is Councilman Ruben Will’s district, one of the worst districts in the Greater Jamaica area and I have yet ever heard him bring up this issue, in fact I rarely hear our local elected officials bring this up, considering that 99% of the time, the fires that take place in the Jamaica area, take place in illegal conversions. Illegal conversions are not only dangerous, but destroy a community and lower property values.

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From Queens Chronicle:

More violations for Ozone Park house

Stove in illegal apartment caused Thanksgiving Day explosion: FDNY

 

A Thanksgiving Day explosion at a South Ozone Park house was caused by the misuse of a stove inside an illegal apartment, according to Fire Department officials.

“The location of the explosion was an illegally renovated setback apartment,” an FDNY spokesman said in an email. “The explosion was caused by misuse of a stove on the premises.”

According to city records released last week, the owner of the house was given two violations by the city Department of Buildings on the day the back of the first floor spontaneously exploded.

The house, located at 107-55 108 St., was illegally altered from a one- or two-family dwelling to accommodate four or more families, DOB records state.

An illegal canopy at the rear of the house was also placed by the homeowner, according to records.

The homeowner, identified by the DOB as Boonness Harrychand, is scheduled for a hearing at the Environmental Control Board, the tribunal body that administers penalties to people who violate DOB regulations, on Jan. 13.

Harrychand did not respond to requests for comments on the violations by press time.

The DOB did not respond to requests for comment on whether or not gas work was done inside the illegal units.

The two violations were issued on Thanksgiving Day when Harrychand’s house spontaneously exploded in the afternoon, records show.

The details of the violations were not made public on the DOB’s website until recently.

At about 1:45 p.m. that day, the rear of the first floor of the house collapsed due to an explosion, a spokesman for the Fire Department said.

The DOB immediately issued a full vacate order on the house, which is still in effect, stating that its structural stability had been affected by the explosion and issued the two violations for illegal construction, according to city records.

Harrychand has been issued multiple DOB violations in the past, mostly for illegal conversions and extensions, city records state.

In 2009, the DOB stated that the “entire house was converted into single room occupancies without a permit.”

Most of the DOB violations to Harrychand were either dismissed or never issued to him in person by a DOB agent, city records state.

The Chronicle’s story on the illegal conversions at the house was a topic of discussion at Community Board 9’s Dec. 9 meeting, where board members passed a resolution that stated the board was against legalizing basement dwellings as part of the mayor’s plan to place or preserve an additional 200,000 units of affordable housing throughout the city.

“This is one of many examples of what happens when you have illegal conversions,” community board member and Land Use Committee member Sherman Kane said of the unauthorized conversions on Harrychand’s house.

 

ILLEGAL APARTMENTS ARE NUMBER 1 COMPLAINT WITH DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS, BUT DOB DOES JACKSHIT MOST OF THE TIME

Photo by Bill Parry

St. Albans illegal conversion on Tioga Drive where two children (age 6 & 11) died in fire this year. Photo by Bill Parry

 

The most pressing problem and the one that gets the most complaints in Queens is Illegal apartments, followed by illegal curb cuts. For those of us living in Jamaica, we are all quite aware of both these issues. I, myself, have gotten the Department of Buildings (DOB) to actually shut down two illegal conversions, one across the street from me in one of those typical third world shit hole apartment dwellings (89-19 170th St) and a house (170-09 89th Ave) around the corner filled with typical third world dreck, complete with a third world slumlord. Although both to0k so much time for the final result, they were finally shut down and the tenants removed. But unfortunately way too many illegal conversions fall to the wayside due to the bureaucracy of this very troubling and corrupt city agency. Illegal conversions in Jamaica are a major problem that affect the quality of life in our community, destroys neighborhoods, affects property values and also kill. The last several fires in Jamaica where children died were all in illegal conversions, that have been reported to DOB, yet nothing was done.

Illegal curb cut in Jamica

Illegal curb cut in Jamica

The other issue of illegal curb cuts (and illegal parking pads) seems to be on the bottom of the DOB’s list and when I reported in the  beginning of the year over 30 illegal curb cuts just within a few blocks of me, I was told that illegal curb cuts are not on DOB’s priority list and the guy on the phone was not kidding. Of the 30 illegal curb cuts I reported to DOB, only one was taken care of. Illegal curb cuts as well as the accompanied cement over all green grass, is not only an eyesore on a block, but causes water run off and flooding, yet DOB had failed to address this major quality of life issue.

An illegal parking pad reported to DOB.

An illegal parking pad reported to DOB.

DOB is very similar to our Jamaica elected officials, pretty much useless and corrupt.

From The Forum:

Borough Keeping Buildings Department Busy

It seems that Queens continues to keep the city Department of Buildings very busy.

That was the story Tuesday night at the Community Board 9 meeting as DOB officials detailed how active the borough is with complaints, inspections and penalties.

“In the city, there were 278 access warrants [filed] last fiscal year,” said Anthony Iuliano, director of intergovernmental affairs for the DOB, referring to building-inspection documents, “Two hundred seventy two were in Queens.”

Iuliano also noted that illegal curb cuts remain an issue throughout the borough.

“[Homeowners] have to correct the condition,” he explained, adding that property owners can have curb cuts installed as long as they adhere to codes or resolutions. “Legalize it, or remove it.”

Still, the most pressing DOB issue in Queens is illegal dwelling conversions, Iuliano said. Of all borough building-condition complaints made via the city’s 311 system, more than half are for illegal conversions.

“The name of the game is access,” said Iuliano, referring to the constitutional difficulty for inspectors in gaining entry to a home or establishment that has been converted illegally.

“These conditions break the building codes, the fire codes, even the school codes,” board member Nick Comaianni said. “My main concern is how can we help [DOB] change the current status to gain entry into the buildings.”

Comaianni suggested either the city or state grant DOB inspectors peace-officer status, or bring back an illegal conversions task force, akin to the squad that former Borough President Claire Shulman installed during her tenure. Iuliano indicated that the task force was “successful.”

“By [investigators] not enforcing codes that are already on the books, we’re paying more in services than it would cost to [police] it,” Comaianni said.

 

By Michael V. Cusenza