State Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck) is cautioning a prospective buyer of the former Klein Farm to fully understand the strict development regulations an owner would need to adhere to should it want to alter anything on the Fresh Meadows site.
The lawmaker detailed the rigorous approval process a development proposal for the farm would have to go through in a letter he sent Friday to Robert Frischman, president of JDF Realty. JDF Realty is representing Fresh Meadows Jewish Development LLC, which Weprin said could potentially purchase the two-acre Klein Farm, at 194-23 73rd Ave.
“Anyone planning to purchase the property should be aware of the regulations and prepared to comply with them,” Weprin warned.
Klein Farm’s current owner, Flushing-based realtor Tommy Huang, has said he is selling the property. That news concerns area residents, who worry a new owner will try to develop the property that was the last privately-owned working farm in the city until it closed in 2003. Huang angered many individuals with plans in 2004 to build 18 to 22 two-story homes on the property, which he purchased for $4.3 million in 2003. Anger from community leaders kept Huang from moving ahead with his plans.
Weprin, in his letter, emphasized Klein Farm is in the Fresh Meadows Special Planned Community Preservation District, which means any proposals for changes to the site would have to go through a lengthy approval process by the community and city.
The city Planning Commission must approve all new development or enlargement plans, and the city Department of Buildings may not issue a permit for a building’s demolition unless it is deemed unsafe. Requests for work permits have to go through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, and the City Council would ultimately have the final say as to whether or not development may occur.
Trees on the property may not come down without a special permit, and even altering the topography would require city approval.
“The preservation district protects the Klein Farm property,” Weprin said.
JDF Realty did not return a request for comment, and the attorney for Huang’s Audrey Realty, Klein Farm’s landlord, would not confirm whether Fresh Meadows Jewish Development LLC is buying the farm. But Craig Zim, who represents Audrey Realty, did say Huang has a contract of sale for the property.
The city had no available record of the property’s sale as of press time.
Audrey Realty is currently tied up in court over eviction orders Huang presented to Li Chen, the owner of a day-care center that operates at Klein Farm.
Yi Lin, who represents Chen, said his client will not vacate the property until Audrey Realty provides proof the land has been sold, which Lin said Huang has not done. The case, which went to Queens Civil Court several weeks ago, could eventually go to trial, Lin said.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
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