Neighbors cry foul over use of Little Neck lot

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Do not use our community as your storage lot.

That is the message neighbors near a quiet, residential street in Little Neck are trying to send to the construction company they claim is using a vacant lot as a storage depot for construction equipment.

H&S Landscaping in College Point was given a demolition permit in July 2010 for 246-14 Cambria Ave., and a spokeswoman for the city Department of Buildings said no further permits have been issued since then.

Under the area’s R2A zoning, storage of construction equipment is not permitted, but that is just what neighbors say the contractor has been doing for over a year now.

“They’re using it as a commercial property to store equipment,” said Constantine Laskarivis, who claimed that whenever construction vehicles move around dirt or snow — as happened on several occasions last winter — it inevitably ends up in his driveway on the other side of the road.

“Whatever’s on that lot ends up all over the street,” he said.

H&S owner Henry Schliessman said Tuesday the property’s owner was ill, and he was waiting for him to recover before the company completed the work at the site. Schliessman promised to move everything off the lot within the next few days.

Last week, four debris containers and one excavating machine were on the lot.

Another neighbor said the construction fence surrounding the lot fell on the side of his garage over the winter, and it was only two weeks ago that the company came and fixed it by nailing it to a tree on his property.

The neighbor, who did not want his name published, said vehicles come to the lot at random times during the week to pick up and drop off equipment.

“With no construction activity going on, how can you have four or five Dumpsters?” he asked.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said that after receiving several complaints, he contacted the DOB and submitted the location to its Padlock Unit.

“It’s obviously being used as storage,” the senator said, and he criticized the department for not investigating complaints as aggressively as he would like. “At least they’re moving in the right direction.”

Avella said part of the problem was systemic, whereby the DOB issues construction permits for periods of two years.

The Padlock Unit’s investigation was still ongoing.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Posted 2:55 pm, September 29, 2011
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