New zoning guidelines needed for Zero Lot Allowance building

Dear Editor,

With a New Year and Mayor in place, I am hoping one of the resolutions to be made is to change the zoning guidelines for zero lot allowance building aka lot line to lot line building.

While this is not a new issue, it is one that has severely impacted at least three local Pelham Bay families in the past year. The buildings located at 1816 Edison Avenue built by Paul Durgaj (12 Apts and barely a gutters distance between the structures), 3064 Buhre Avenue built by Paul Lamaj (20 Apts.and barely a gutters distance between the structures) and 3529 Bruckner Boulevard built by Anton Tinaj (14 Apts. and built on the line and over the neighboring homeowners gutter) have all been built to the existing zoning. The quality of life for all of the adjoining homeowners has been significantly impacted. This will not be changed until the City Planning Commission (CPC), the Department of Buildings (DOB), and our elected officials act to change zoning rules and amend zero-lot-line building. There needs to be stipulations in place to safeguard existing homeowners from having to endure to the costs of closing up windows, moving vents, being forced to sue for damages due to a builder not carrying proper insurance during construction and making areas inaccessible for maintenance as well as being walled off on one side.

In most localities throughout New York (and elsewhere), there are zoning guidelines such as easements or side yards that will not allow someone to build lot line to lot line (AKA zero lot allowance).

I also ask for our Borough movers and shakers’ (Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Senator Jeff Klein and CB 10 District Manager Kenneth Kearns) to add this issue to their New Year’s resolutions.

In the May 2013 Downsizing and Zoning Town Hall meeting held at PS 14 with the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association, we were told to be patient and wait for our new Mayor to be elected. It is January and there are no excuses. We need to act now. The CPC has 13 members, seven of whom are appointed by the mayor, five by the city’s borough presidents, and one by the public advocate. I ask the CPC, DOB and elected officials to temporarily suspend the existing zoning while it is reviewed. We cannot sit back and have this continue. If we work together, we can make a change.

As I have said before
“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.
Patty Justiniano



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