After years of tireless effort, Council Member Dan Halloran has successfully removed a community eyesore in Whitestone and joined the new property owner in planting a new tree where the unsightly, hazardous area tarnished the neighborhood for years.
Council Member Dan Halloran’s office took the lead on bringing the unsafe and unsightly conditions on the property located at 24-19 Francis Lewis Blvd. almost as soon as he took office in January, 2010.
The property had for years been an illegal yard for construction equipment, materials and garbage roll-off containers, concealed by a decrepit and graffiti-covered construction fence.
Halloran’s office contacted DOB in late April, 2010, when the gate of the construction fence fell apart, and again in early June when another section of the fence fell on Francis Lewis Blvd. Yet another complaint was sent in on 12/22.
The following year, Halloran’s office contacted DOB on 4/25/11. The property was inspected on 4/28; violations and a Stop Work Order were issued as a result. The fence continued to fall apart, and DOB continued to receive complaints.
All the while, Halloran’s office was working with DOB to find a resolution for this dangerous and illegal condition.
In December the fence fell apart in places and Council Member Halloran’s office again contacted Buildings on 12/19/11. The property was inspected the next day and more violations were issued a week later. The property was padlocked by DOB on 12/28/11.
Another complaint about this property was received by DOB on 2/1/12; no inspection was performed.
Complicating attempts to clean up this mess, the property was also listed as 24-31 Francis Lewis Blvd., making it difficult to establish a paper trail. In addition, the property has effectively changed hands several times in the last two years.
The property was bought by an LLC as vacant non-residential land in early August, 2009, in order to construct a medical facility, but the plan never went forward. Through close cooperation between Council Member Halloran and the Department of Buildings, the current owner has agreed to clean-up the property, take down the construction fence, and erect a chain-link or slat fence.
Current zoning law only allows for a four-foot fence around such lots. However, Halloran’s office, working closely with DOB and the current property have worked out an agreement where DOB will allow, and the owner will install a six-foot fence, in the interest of public safety.
As reported by the Queens Courier, Council Member Dan Halloran recently joined the new property owner at the formerly-blighted site to plant a tree, representing a new era for residents of the area.
Council Member Halloran is running for U.S. Congress as the sole Republican candidate in the 6th District, against the winner of the June 26th Democratic primary.