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Bellerose homes need to be examined: Civics

Two Bellerose civic leaders are claiming the city Department of Buildings is dragging its feet to enforce what they contended were violations on two two-family homes being constructed in the neighborhood.

Angela Augugliaro, president of the Queens Colony Civic Association, said the homes at 87-28 Commonwealth Blvd. have a partial stop-work order so the developer can correct safety issues with the buildings. But she said work beyond the safety concerns are being addressed. She also had other concerns about the property.

“We’ve asked for an audit, we’ve asked for an inspector to look at it and they’ve done nothing,” she said, referring to the DOB. “I just don’t understand the Buildings Department anymore. I feel they’re not doing their job.”

A visit to the site Tuesday morning did not find any workers performing construction.

Dharminder Singh, the developer of the homes, could not be reached for comment.

The homes are being built adjacent to property owned by St. Gregory the Great Church on Commonwealth Boulevard in Bellerose. The church and the developer were involved in a dispute with St. Gregory’s claiming the homes’ property line encroached on its land.

It was found that the church’s survey was correct and Singh shaved off two feet from the property line, but Augugliaro and former Community Board 13 chairman and Bellerose Commonwealth Civic Association member Richard Hellenbrecht said the property is still in violation by about two feet.

The homes are supposed to be 4 feet away from the property line with St. Gregory’s.

Augugliaro said a construction fence was taken down from the property, which she said is another violation.

“What are they waiting for? Until the houses are totally completed? It shouldn’t have gotten this far to begin with,” she said, noting she and Hellenbrecht have asked for audits and a DOB inspector to visit the property.

Augugliaro said she was concerned that three electric meters are on the outside of the houses, noting they are supposed to be two two-families. She conceded the third meter may be for a common area.

Hellenbrecht said the homes are in violation of the 4-foot side yard requirement. The homes are zoned R4-1, a designation for two-family homes.

“The foundation wall cannot stay where it is,” he said.

He said he was concerned that a gurney and other emergency equipment might not be able to access the homes because of how close they are to St. Gregory’s’ property line.

“It’s a major zoning issue and beyond that, it’s a major safety issue,” Hellenbrecht said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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