After noting concerns about traffic and outward appearances, Community Board 11 voted to allow a Flushing plumbing supply shop on Northern Boulevard to continue business.
On May 7, the advisory body voted to recommend approval of North Shore Plumbing Supply’s request for an extension on a term variance previously granted for the site’s second floor at 188-07/15 Northern Blvd., with a host of conditions.
Board 11 member Ocelia Claro, who gave the Land Use Committee report, said the group had a number of concerns about the site including “a very messy display of wares on the sidewalk.” Plumbing pipes are sometimes stored on the sidewalk, Claro said, creating a hazardous condition.
She also noted that the last term of a variance had the condition that the business maintain a set of planters along 189th Street. They have not been maintained, Claro noted.
There are open violations at the site, according to DOB records. Multiple Environmental Control Board violations exist on the property, dating back to 1989. There are also multiple DOB violations open dating back to 1990.
A community resident also informed the board that she has seen trucks loading and unloading supplies at the bus stop outside of the business.
Board 11’s conditional recommendation of the five-year variance extension request includes stipulations that the business not store materials in front of the property on Northern Boulevard or on the sidewalks. The business owners would also be required to maintain the planters, address the open violations and prevent delivery trucks from blocking the bus stop.
Board 11 member Henry Euler, who also belongs to the Auburndale Improvement Association, echoed these concerns. The group has heard complaints about trucks picking up or delivering supplies while blocking the bus stop, he noted.
“You would think that, since this the board is hearing this case tonight, they would make some effort to remove this stuff off the sidewalk,” he said, referring to photographs recently taken at the site. “It’s an eyesore.”
The property owner, through an attorney, claimed he would work to meet each condition. The owner has already retained a landscaper and begun to replant in the planters, the attorney said in a letter to the board.
If the board did not approve the variance, only the second story of the building would not be legally usable, Claro noted.