‘Cease and Desist’ zoning process moving forward

(l-r) Andrew Chirico, Tom Colacioppi, Arlene Grauer, Cathy Praino and John Marano at last week’s Cease and Desist meeting.
Photo courtesy of Senator Jeff Klein’s office

Efforts to rein in the Bronx real estate business’ practice of solicitation is moving forward.

After three meetings, Senator Jeff Klein is closing in on real estate solicitation in community boards 10 and 11.

At the third Cease and Desist Zone meeting held on Thursday, July 27 at Villa Barone Manor, those in attendance were again given the opportunity to submit testimony, along with other evidence, that proves that they have been subjected to excessive solicitations.

The establishment of a Cease and Desist zone would allow residents within the zone to place their addresses on a Cease and Desist list, which would prohibit real estate salespeople from contacting them.

Those that violated the list would be subject to hefty fines.

“Intense real estate solicitations is not something that Bronx homeowners should be subjected to, although they have greatly increased over the past few months,” said Klein.

“I hope that my series of hearings helped to provide sufficient evidence to reinstate the ‘cease and desist zone’ in Community Board 10 (and 11) and determine the perimeters where these unwanted realtors cannot intrude on our quality of life.”

The senator added that there is a 30-day commentary period, where residents can send submissions of these repeated real estate solicitations to Klein’s office, before the NYS Department of State renders their decision on the Cease and Desist zone.

The 30-day commentary period will end on Saturday, August 27.

In a separate interview with Klein, he said that a Cease and Desist Zone was in place in sections of community boards 10 and 11 before the law expired in 2014.

Klein also said he is looking to extend the boundary of the zone to neighborhoods in Community Board 9.

The Bronx real estate industry opposes the creation of Cease and Desist zoning.

“Legislation to reauthorize and expand Cease and Desist zones will unfairly hurt the livelihood of real estate professionals,” said Eliezer Rodriguez, executive officer of the Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors. “This will hurt the ability of real estate professionals to do their job and consequently have a negative impact on the state and local economy.”

Rodriguez said that according to the Department of State, only nine violations were reported pertaining to the Cease and Desist law between 2009 and 2011.

“This is not an appropriate solution to the problem, although we do empathize with the community. However, before a Cease and Desist is imposed, I ask that lawmakers and state regulators fairly weigh the evidence presented in determining the need for the imposition of a new Cease and Desist zone,” Rodriguez added.

Homeowners and residents who have been exposed to repeat real estate solicitations can send submissions and other evidence to Senator Jeff Klein, 1250 Waters Place, Suite 1202, Bronx, NY, 10461.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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