One commercial business in Whitestone has been taking advantage of a vacant lot and now residents want it to get out.
On Monday, state Senator Tony Avella gathered with community members outside Salvatore Valenza Contractors, located at 12-44 Clintonville St., demanding that they vacate a residential property located on 24th Avenue between 149th and 150th streets that is being used as an illegal storage spot.
According to Avella, the company has flaunted the law by parking his commercial trucks and construction materials such as gravel, bricks, wood and tools in the vacant lot. Whitestone residents and the state senator expressed concerns that the unlawful use of the site would invite rodent infestation and may even attract infectious mosquitoes.
Furthermore, the senator charged, the company painted the curb yellow and posted “No Parking” signs in an area that lacks curbs. Valenza Contractors were additionally accused of stealing signs from a towing company that warned vehicles that they would be towed if parked in front of the lot. Avella said there is no towing agreement between the towing company and the contractor.
“It’s a disgrace how this property owner can just choose to ignore the law and bully local residents by making them believe they would be at risk of being ticketed or towed if they parked in front of this lot,” Avella said. “The worst part is, they even resorted to theft of property from a towing company to prevent residents from parking there. You would think that with all of this disregard for the law, the City of New York would want to take action, yet the lot continues to be used illegally on a daily basis.”
Avella has contacted the 109th Precinct, which serves Whitestone and other northeast Queens neighborhoods. The precinct has corresponded with the owner and gave Valenza a time frame of a few days to remove the “No Parking” signs or repercussions would follow, according to the senator.
The Department of Buildings had previously issued an Environmental Control Board violation against Salvatore Valenza contractors regarding conditions at the site, but nothing has changed on the site. The senator said he has asked the Sanitation Department and the Department of Health to take further action.
QNS reached out to Salvatore Valenza Contractors and is awaiting a response.