Padavan asks for probe of College Point project

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State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and other community officials have asked the city's Buildings Department to investigate the Malba Bay Estates project in College Point for possible construction and zoning violations.

Malba Bay Estates is being constructed along 11th Avenue, at the corner of 131st Street, beside Powell's Cove Park with an uninterrupted view of the Whitestone Bridge.

Building began earlier this winter and, according to Padavan's office, the development will include 27, three-story, two-family row houses, on-site parking and possibly a swimming pool and gazebo.

Last week Padavan hosted a meeting with representatives from the city's Buildings Department, including Queens Building Department Commissioner James Leonard and members of Community Board 7, the College Point Civic Taxpayers Association and a representative from City Councilman Michael Abel's (R-Bayside) office.

Padavan said the six major concerns he and residents share about the development are:

* the legality of the construction of a 12-foot-high wall with no setback from the property line

* the fact that the development's cellar is above ground but allegedly not considered as one floor

* the structure's 47-foot height is 12 feet higher than what is permitted

* the contractor has continued to stockpile debris-filled mounds of soil on the site for the past few months

* the planned swimming pool and gazebo could violate a coastal zone management plan

* the development is located in a flood zone

Neither Thomas Theodore, one of the development's owners, nor architect Ed Hogan could be reached as of press time for comment.

Padavan said the city Buildings Department "promised they would get back to us on each one of the problems and obviously we have to see what they come up with."

Community Board 7 District Manager Marilyn Bitterman said she wants to ensure that the development conforms to all zoning laws.

"It's an as-of-right development and I want to make sure they're not encroaching on city Parks Department property and to make sure all construction is adhered to for zoning," she said.

As of press time there was also a question as to whether or not a pool and gazebo would be built at the development.

Bitterman said although both CB 7 and the borough president's office nixed the plan, she believed it was still going forward with the blessing of the city's Board of Standards and Appeals.

On Tuesday, as longtime College Point resident Marion Hornecker walked her dog through Powell's Cove Park, she said Malba Bay Estates looked "beautiful" and well built, but feared the influx of families it would draw to the area.

"I don't think our town needs any more big complexes," Hornecker said. "We're bursting at the seams right now. Schools are crowded, roads are crowded."

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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