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Bayside FDNY looks to buy parking lot

Many years ago, Rhea Slade, the owner of the parking lot, made a handshake deal with Engine 306 at 40-18 214th Place that for a small fee, firefighters could park their private cars in his parking lot next door to the firehouse, according to the board's zoning committee report. Slade died two years ago and left a stipulation in his will that he wanted the Fire Department to have the first opportunity to buy the lot, a simple rectangle paved with cement and surrounded by a 10-foot fence. "They have been using it as a parking lot for a long time," said CB 11 member Frank Skala, noting that when Engine 306 was renovating the firehouse floor, the firetrucks were kept on the lot. "It takes cars of the street, which is important for us," Skala said. "The more cars taken off the street the better." Dave Harney, representing the Fire Department's Building Services branch, met with the Community Board 11 zoning committee last Thursday and reassured them it would only be used to park 10 cars. Because the parking lot is in a residential zone, Deputy Mayor Marc Shaw signed a zoning override in December to allow for the lot's existence. "We have filed an ULURP application to acquire the property," said Jim Long, spokesman for the Fire Department. "It's a pretty good facility in good condition." It was not known how much the department is prepared to pay for the lot.The committee was concerned that the lot may be used in the future for other purposes, but Harney said he did not anticipate another use of the property, according to the committee's report. Skala said the Fire Department agreed to not sublease the lot.The committee voted unanimously to approve the application, and the full board will vote on the application at its March 7 meeting. Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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