Car dealerships on Northern Boulevard continue to use public parking on residential streets as auxiliary storage for their business even after a crackdown by the police, a civic activist said at Community Board 11’s Monday meeting.
Auburndale Improvement Association President Henry Euler announced no sooner than NYPD’s 111th Precinct had performed an overnight sweep in late November, towing the illegally parked cars, the Star Nissan dealership had begun putting them back on the curbs in front of houses.
“Now the new thing is that they’re not parking by their business–Bayside Imports–but they are now going into the neighborhoods on the south side of Northern and the north side of Northern,” Euler said. “They’re parking vehicles without plates or registration certificates on the windshield.”
Star Nissan is not the only dealership involved in the parking congestion, however. About 15 illegally parked vehicles were carried away on tow trucks from Bayside Imports, located at 202-01 Northern Blvd,, alone in the NYPD sting in November.
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said the overnight police sweep was in response to requests from his office for action on the parking practice, which he has rallied against in recent months.
Avella and community activist Mandingo Tshaka called on the city to enforce a zoning variance at an October news conference in which they claimed Star Nissan in Bayside had been ignoring summons despite collecting a series of violations and fines.
Star Nissan at 206-02 Northern Blvd. stores well above the approved number of 70 vehicles in its lot, while the excess autos which do not fit spill out onto residential, curbside parking on 45th Road. The license plates are removed and the vehicles often create an eyesore for surrounding residents. The variance only allows for 20 cars to be parked on the lot.
Tshaka confirmed the dealerships were still parking on his side of Northern, the south side, but thay have also gone deeper into the neighborhood. He said there is no need for the variance since there is nothing unique about the property on which the dealerships sit.
The variance goes to the Board of Standards and Appeals next week regarding its expiration, Euler said. His civic association will request that if the BSA renews or extends the variance, it is only until 2021.
Tshaka argued that the city was ignoring issues in the southern, or predominantly black, side of Bayside divided by Northern Boulevard.
“It’s nothing but blatant racism. All along 45th Road here is residential, but you would not know it,” Tshaka said. “One-hundred feet [from Northern Boulevard] to the end of the corner is commercial, and from there it’s residential. You will not find all these car shops on the other side of Northern Boulevard.”
According to Avella, eight violations from the city Environmental Control Board as well as $28,000 in fines have not stopped the business from overloading the neighborhood with used cars awaiting repairs. The variance allowing for no more than 20 cars expired in 2009, Avella said.
“As you can see, this is more than 20 cars. It really is when you think about it — racism. Would this happen on the other side of the street? No,” Avella said on 206th Street in front on the dealership. “This has been going on since I was in the City Council, so now well over a decade that I’m aware of, and why can’t the city do something about this?”
Tshaka, who is 86, once a member of a pop music sensation known as the Ink Spots, grew up near 206th Street. He remembers the neighborhood as always being poor with mainly Polish, Russian and African-American residents. The area was known as Pollack Alley.
The October news conference was unexpectedly joined by a man associated with Star Nissan who stood on the sidelines.
When asked if he was an owner, he declined to give a straight answer.
He responded to request for comment with, “Why should I?”
He and other staff members then took the initiative to start taking cars off the street with clouds of black smoke billowing from some of the more decrepit vehicles.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall
©2017 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.