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Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Association
September 18, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 8:05 P.M. by President Walter Mugdan. The reading of the minutes of the May, 2006 meeting was waived. Upon motion, duly seconded, the minutes were approved. Walter Mugdan noted that the minutes were available for review on the Westmoreland website. Treasurer Gary Savage gave the Treasurer’s Report indicating that the balance-on-hand was $16,964.80 as of September 18, 2006. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report. The motion was seconded and the report was unanimously approved.
Fence violation. Walter Mugdan noted that a new house on 44 Ave was in violation of the covenants attached to the deed. No part of a fence may be closer than twenty feet from the front property line. A fence installed in August along the sideline of this property extended to the front sidewalk. Walter contacted the builder and the builder rectified the problem by moving the fence back the proper distance
Construction Violation. Walter Mugdan noted that the house on Morgan Street that was knowingly built too close to the side property line was able to get a Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.). in spite of the efforts by the neighbors, the Westmoreland Association and City Councilman Avella. Over the past two and a half years, all had repeatedly asked the Department of Buildings (DOB) not to issue the C.O. until the sideline violation was properly addressed. DOB was not cooperative and unresponsive. It may be that DOB will impose a modest fine, but if DOB issues the C.O. nevertheless, the small fine will have virtually no deterrent effect.
Three New York State Assemblymen are investigating the NYC Building Department. Walter Mugdan attended the first hearing and submitted testimony describing the above incident as an illustration of the lack of enforcement that occurs. The next hearing will be in November (this year).
R2A Re-zoning. The Community Board 11 held a hearing on September 5, 2006. The meeting was attended by nearly all of the Board members, representatives of the NYC Planning Department, and the general public. A number of Westmoreland Association members attended. People who signed up ahead of time were able to state their opinions on the subject for up to 90 seconds. The majority of the speakers were for the passage of the new re-zoning provision.
Some opponents claimed that 85% of the homes in their area (a relatively small area east of Marathon Parkway and south of Northern Boulevard, including Beechknoll and Thebes; this is not part of the Westmoreland area) would be in non-compliance with the new zoning change. The Planning Department performed its own survey and determined that the exact opposite is true: 80% – 85% of the homes in the area would comply with the new zoning.
The Community Board voted to support the R2A change with the provision that the change not occur in the area in question. Nearly all the opponents are from this neighborhood. The Board’s decision is advisory.
The next step is a hearing at the Borough President’s office. The meeting will take place at Borough Hall on Thursday, September 21, 2006. the location is 120-55 Queens Blvd, in the second floor Borough President’s conference room. The Borough President’s subsequent recommendation is also advisory.
The final step in the re-zoning process is the City Council. That will take place later this year, hopefully.
Crime in the neighborhood. Walter Mugdan will call the 111 precinct’s community affairs officer to discuss the following:
· There was spate of automobile break-ins this Summer. The break-ins occurred at different times of the day and on the street and in owner’s driveways.
· Neighbors have reported seeing a black Cadillac in the neighborhood that does quick “drive-by” drug transactions. Evidently, the driver makes prior arrangements to meet a buyer on either 42 Ave. or 43 Ave. near Admiral Park (the playground near PS-94). Neighbors report picking up the little glassine envelopes that the dealers use to sell their drugs.
· Suspicious activity has been occurring on Little Neck Parkway near the Scobie Grill parking lot.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.
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