CB 11 takes on suspicious businesses

By Patrick Donachie

Community Board 11 has alerted the mayor’s office about several Bayside businesses that it suspects are engaged in illegal and unlicensed activities.

Chairwoman Christine Haider made the announcement at the board’s monthly meeting Monday night at Middle School 158. Susan Seinfeld, the board’s district manager, later said that the suspected businesses were primarily spas and massage parlors.

Though Seinfeld did not comment on specific businesses, she said the board had forwarded as many as 12 addresses to the mayor’s office. She also said the community informed board members about what addresses should be forwarded.

“The community was suspicious by the look of the locations,” she said. “Several times people have come up to us.”

On another front, Seinfeld said that area day-care centers were mostly licensed and legal, despite increased attention on the issue in the community and city. According to Seinfeld, Bayside residents often alert the board when they notice a day-care center in a private residence. Centers are allowable in private homes, provided the center is licensed.

“We look them up to make sure they’re duly licensed,” she said. “We haven’t wound up with a problem with day care.”

A representative for the mayor also spoke briefly at the meeting, encouraging board members and citizens to be on the lookout for suspect businesses and illegal day-care centers.

During the meeting, Capt. William McBride from the 111th Precinct reported that while there had been an increase in grand larcenies this year due to identity theft and credit card fraud, he disputed the assertion that there had been a spike in instances of tire theft. He attributed that perception to increased attention on social media.

The community board debated the renewal of a previously granted variance permitting the Staples supply store at 209-30 Northern Blvd. to operate. A resident who lived near the store complained about the frequency of deliveries conducted throughout the night in the rear parking lot. The variance was approved for recommendation with conditions, with the board requesting that late-night deliveries be discontinued.

The board tabled the decision about a new Italian fusion restaurant at 189-11 Northern Blvd., with Haider saying she would be uncomfortable approving the variance without more information about hours of operation, the number of seats the restaurant would have and whether it would operate with a full liquor license.

Finally, the owners of the Helms Bros. shop at 207-22 Northern Blvd. applied to renew their variance with an amendment permitting an auto showroom with parking for customers and emloyees in the rear. Board member Henry Euler said he would be voting against the variance because of what he called a glut of similar shops in the area.

“This particular block is saturated with auto,” he said. “There’s going to be more traffic.”

The motion eventually passed with a vote of 18-11 with conditions. At the conclusion of the night, the board held elections. Haider, First Vice Chair Laura James, Second Vice Chair Ocelia Claro and Third Vice Chair Eileen Miller all retained their posts.

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