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CB 11’s reach limited since Sept. 11 attack

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In the first Community Board 11 meeting since the World Trade Center attack, Chairman Bernard Haber Monday night urged the public to have patience with city agencies disrupted by the tragedy in Lower Manhattan.

“I hope you all realize it’s not business as usual,” Haber said. “The Port Authority is totally displaced, as is the Department of Transportation, the Buildings Department, and the Board of Standards and Appeals.”

Haber said people should realize that the community board’s ability to solve problems has also been hampered.

“Be advised that at this time we do not have the same contact we had three weeks ago,” he said.

After a brief discussion on the effect of the World Trade Center disaster, the board did little normal business.

Community Board 11 includes the communities of Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Oakland Gardens, Auburndale and Hollis Hills.

CB 11, which recently relocated to Little Neck but still holds its meetings at MS 158 in Bayside, held a public hearing on a request by Bayside BMW to convert a car showroom to office space.

The request angered neighbors who live near the car dealership at 217-07 Northern Blvd., who accused the dealership of being insensitive to their quality of life. CB 11 eventually chose to table a vote on the issue until its November meeting.

CB 11 also decided to investigate Lund Fire Products, a Bayside business with a history of disturbing the neighborhood.

In a Sept. 17 letter to the city Board of Standards and Appeals, architect Philip Augusta said Lund Fire Products at 40-33 215th Place, has had an increase in business as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. Lund Fire Products tests and repairs fire alarm systems.

In his letter written to the now-displaced Board of Standards and Appeals at its Rector Street headquarters, Augusta said his client has had to enter the 215th Place premises after hours to get equipment and supplies.

Residents in the area have long accused Lund Fire Products of violating the terms of a 1985 variance that limited the company to operating between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and required it to keep delivery vehicles off local streets, among other restrictions.

In May, Community Board 11 rejected the business’ request for a variance to extend its hours of operation, and several weeks later Lund Fire Products withdrew its variance from consideration by the Board of Standards and Appeals, which had been expected to deny the change.

At that time Augusta admitted before the board that the company had violated its variance, but he said it had complied in recent months.

CB 11 said it would gather evidence from residents who said Lund continued to violate its variance before the Sept. 11 attack and would ask the BSA to investigate.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:24 pm, October 10, 2011
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