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Glendale property loses floorplans

By Gabriel Rom

The city Department of Buildings has revoked the floor plans for a proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Avenue in Glendale.

The audit is the latest chapter in a protracted battle between community leaders, area politicians and the DOB, dating back to March 2013, and effectively stalls any further construction progress at the property, which is owned by Wilner Realty Management Company.

According to Alex Schnell, press secretary for the Department of Buildings, the July 23 audit found that the building plans were not up to full code compliance and that the building application could be revoked.

“The applicant will have an opportunity to amend their plans to bring them into compliance with the NYC Building Codes and Zoning Resolution,” he said in a statement.

Wilner could not be reached for comment.

Community members angered by the proposed shelter have organized into the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition. The group points to what it believes are a litany of issues with the proposed site, including the fact that the property was originally zoned for manufacturing use and that the building permit was originally denied by the DOB, which Schnell confirmed. The coalition has also filed an Article 78 requesting an environmental impact study review to be conducted on the site.

Sal Crifasi, president of the Middle Village Chamber of Commerce, believes the city has not been entirely forthcoming about the property’s faults.

“We’re concerned that the city isn’t being transparent. They didn’t come to us and ask for our input, they just told us ‘we’re doing this,” he said.

Crifasi doesn’t know what spurred the full audit—whether it was an internal review or pressure from his community board and neighborhood politicians. Either way, he says, the revocation is a small, but welcome victory.

“As for a next step? I’m simply hoping they don’t build it. We’re worried about the negative impact about the number of people who are thrown into an area, It’s not about homeless people, it’s just the number of people. It’s going to have a troublesome impact,” he added.

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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