Milton Place construction riles some neighbors

Despite a colorful mural featuring the Throgs Neck Bridge and other familiar sites on the work fence, many neighbors say that construction at 2944-50 Milton Place may have a negative impact on their quality-of-life. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

A former neighbor’s plans to constuct four, 3-family homes on his property is not sitting well with his neighbors.

Frank Cioffi, who used to live in a one-family home at the corner of Milton Place and Hollywood Avenue, is now in the process of building at 2944-50 Milton Place.

Cioffi, who is listed as the owner on a worksite sign, is building in compliance with the area’s R-4 zoning. The area was not included in the extensive downzoning of Throggs Neck since many of the homes on the street are attached, 2-families.

“I was one of the lucky ones because the zoning of my property did not change when most of the rest of the zoning in the neighborhood did,” Cioffi said. “The project is being performed by professionals. It is built in accordance with the code; it is not like I am doing anything illegal. We are paying taxes to the City of New York.”

Cioffi said that the project is to have both rear and side parking, and that the homes will also have a garage. There is little parking on the street, since most homes on Milton Place have garages and driveways.

The prospect of having 12 new families on what is already a densely-populated block did not go over well with many neighbors who feel they are too large.

“Those are apartment buildings; those are not houses,” said Dolores Rucco, a neighbor on Milton Place. “There are going to be a lot of people in a small area, and the buildings do not even have backyards.”

Another neighbor, Larry Constentino, said that he felt that even though there are other attached houses on the street, they are a different kind of row house.

“Our houses are set back from the sidewalk, while [Cioffi’s] houses are not,” Constentino said. “They do not comform with the line of the rest of the houses on the same side of the street. Why couldn’t he go with the building line we already had established?”

Several complaints have been filed with the Department of Buildings over the past year few months charging there were unsafe working conditions, an unsecured worksite, and construction ‘contrary to approved plans and permits.’ However, all of the complaints have been resolved.

“It should be a nice project for the area,” Cioffi stated. “Change is not always a bad thing.”

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