More parking doesn’t calm angry PB’ites

Robert Cittadino expressed his concern to city officials.

Angry Pelham Bay residents increased pressure on local elected officials to stop the controversial construction project at 3030 Middletown Road during a packed Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association meeting on Thursday, June 11.

NYC Department of Buildings has forced the developer, 2419 LLC, to increase on-site parking spaces to 34, but even this bit of good news failed to placate the project’s opponents. A major issue at this time centers on a principal behind the project, Jacob Selechnik, who the Village Voice has named as one of the worst landlords in New York City.

According to sources, since the parking garage will not be large enough to accommodate 34 spaces of angled parking, it will require a valet to be on duty 24-hours a day.

“I can’t imagine they are going to have a valet on duty 24-hours-a-day at this building,” said Mary Jane Musano, of the WLCA. “That would require the building’s management to pay for three eight-hour shift employees.”

Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s office, which uncovered Selechnik’s involvement in 2419 LLC, is keeping on top of the matter, ensuring the building is up to code. At one point, in 2004, Selechnik amassed over 23,000 building violations on over 100 properties he owned.

“The bottom line is at some point something is going to be built there,” Vacca said at the meeting. “I am going to be honest with you, this one is not going to be easy. We found some problems with the application. At my request, the project has been placed on hold by the Department of Buildings.”

Vacca said he received word that DOB will conduct a full audit on all of the building’s plans before any construction begins on the 7-story, 44-unit apartment complex, which will also include retail and professional space. The units will be offered as condominiums, which means the building will be owner occupied.

Many of the officials present, including Community Board 10 district manager Ken Kearns; Ryan Singer, of the Department of City Planning; George Torres, of Mayor Bloomberg’s office; James Rausse, of Borough President Carrion’s office; and Donald Ranshte, of DOB, tried to assuage the community’s fears.

“The plan examiners are looking over his plans, and we’re making sure there is nothing wrong. He is building on more than 80% of the lot,” said Ranshte, noting that the construction may not violate the  R7-1 zoning.

Ranshte said the versatility of the area’s R7-1 zoning, bordering on an R-4 zone, with a commercial overlay, allows for more to be done with the parcel of land, which is unfortunate for those opposing the project.

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