Day 108 – Today (Friday) there was not much happening on the strike line, maybe they had too much fun yesterday! Maybe it is because all the organizers are back from their trip to PR. Whatever the case is, the line was still manned and the weather is really heating up.
Since not much is happening outside, I thought it would be good to continue on with the second post in the series about what FIPNA has done for our neighborhood. I will be posting the complete series as one post once I complete the entire series of posts. For now I will just call this post:
“THE LITTLE NEIGHBORHOOD THAT COULD !!!”
Giles Place is a quiet, tree lined, residential street in the Bronx where neighbors really care about each other. We shovel each others snow, capture an escaped dog or cat and the day of the blackout, we checked to make sure everyone was O.K.
A developer tried to upset the tranquility of our neighborhood by illegally building a 7 story, 63 unit apartment building.
The developer, fully aware that our neighborhood was close to being re-zoned for only one-family homes, started construction in August 2004. In an effort to “beat the clock”, they hastily copied an old plan, sort of cookie cutting the building. Knowing that this process would incur problems, they continued anyway. The developer was more interested in reserving the space to build a multi family complex rather than a single family home. This rushing resulted in not having a safe job site, demolition of a house without removing asbestos, submitting plans and applications to the Buildings Department that were full of inaccuracies and worst of all working on Yom Kippur. The community was concerned as this was the same group that developed a site where the street fell in along Riverdale Avenue; That street closing forced that project to stop and inconvenienced a whole community for two years.
On September 28, 2005 the new zoning regulation was passed and the Buildings Department issued a stop work order because the foundation was not complete and did not comply with the new zoning regulation. They also determined that the foundation permit was invalid due to the architect not filing a complete and accurate survey.
The developer took the matter to the Board of Standard and Appeals and tried to get the Stop Work Order lifted. The Buildings Department’s lawyers issued several strongly worded letters to the Board stating that under no circumstances should the developer be allowed to continue construction on an apartment building.
The BSA sided with us and the Buildings Department. The case was appealed again and again. In June 2008, we are still waiting for this case to be finalized, so that the ugly mess the developer left can be torn down, as was the case on the Cannon Place site where HPD recently demolished a development that was built disregarding the new zoning regulations. More on that project in the next post of this series.
Till tomorrow, STAND STRONG!