Councilwoman working with city agency to remove board at Dayton Beach Park in the Rockaways

Dayton_Towers_co-op_jeh WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Councilwoman Joann Ariola announced she has worked with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to remove the board at the Dayton Beach Park complex in Rockaway Park. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Following years of turmoil, Councilwoman Joann Ariola has negotiated with the city’s Department of Housing and Development (HPD) to take the necessary steps to remove the co-op board of Dayton Beach Park, bringing an end to a saga that has left tenants and shareholders in limbo for over a decade.

The board at the sprawling 1156-unit city-subsidized Mitchell-Lama property at 8600 Shore Front Pkwy. in Rockaway Beach has been locked in a legal battle with the city since 2018, litigation that allowed the board to block any elections to replace it.

That lawsuit was dismissed last May by Queens Supreme Court Justice Tracy Catapano-Fox, but voting for a new board remains suspended.

“It is appalling to me that these conditions were allowed to drag on for as long as they have,” Ariola said. “The current board members have been acting completely unethically. The buildings haven’t seen board elections in years, and there are numerous allegations from residents about board members using their position for their own advantage — all while refusing to address the issues of their fellow shareholders.”

Dayton Park board president Jennifer Grady could not be reached for comment.

HPD has been discussing the logistics and scheduling of a board election with Dayton Beach Park’s attorney and management company since the case was dismissed. The agency addressed all issues and concerns raised by the board in an effort to get them to proceed with an election without the need for more legal action. After repeated delays and multiple extensions, HPD is now pursuing the removal of the board in an Office of Administrative Trial and Hearing (OATH) proceeding.

Following the proceeding, OATH will write a report and recommendation that HPD will approve, disapprove or modify. If OATH recommends removing the board, HPD anticipates approving that recommendation.

“HPD has been working with the Dayton Beach Park board and their attorney towards scheduling an election for over eight months, pressing for the board to move forward with the election as soon as possible,” HPD Deputy Press Secretary William Fowler said. “After multiple extensions and repeated delays, we decided it was time to pursue the removal of the board in an OATH proceeding to restore the Dayton Beach shareholders’ right to elect those representing them on the board of directors.”

HPD would remove and replace the board with its own employees in order to oversee an election for Dayton Beach Park shareholders to elect a new board.

“The people want to see real action to address their concerns,” Ariola said. “This latest decision by Housing Preservation and Development is the kind of action people need, and I am proud to have been able to make this happen.”