Residents say ‘NO’ to Astor development

Residents of Pelham Parkway and Allerton spoke out against the proposed medical facility that they fear will diminish the quality of their neighborhood, in preparation for the upcoming Board of Standards and Appeals hearing.

An overflowing crowd jammed into the auditorium of P.S. 97 on Wednesday, September 9 to discuss the medical facility planned for 1464 Astor Avenue.

During the public hearing, held by the Land Use Committee of Community Board 11, an attorney from Rothkrug, Rothkrug & Spector LLP was present to make the presentation for their client, LAL Astor Avenue Management Co., of which Les Lerner is the president.

“The owner believes there is market for this office space and we tried to design the building so at least the area that runs along the backyards is used only for parking and will remain pretty much open.With a medical office building it will not be used extensively on weekends or for obnoxious uses,” said Adam Rothkrug.“We are seeking minimal special permit relief, not a variance, and we have tried to take community concerns in effect in designing the building.”

Despite the presentation, those in attendance opposed to the proposed two-story, 9,996 square foot treatment health care facility.

Amongst concerns discussed were the over abundance of medical facilities in the area, the large number of vacant medical office space presently available, delivery trucks, or medical vehicles would cause disruption to the adjacent Engine 97, environmental and noise pollution, and the disregard for zoning regulations put in place to preserve the residential community.

Following the hearing, CB11 voted on a resolution against the project.John Fratta, district manager of CB11, will appeal before the BSA to relay the board’s recommendation against the special permit.

“No one in the room, except the person brought by the applicant, wanted to support this project and it shows how the community came together to tell this developer you can’t do this to our community,” said Fratta.“We worked long and hard to downzone this area to preserve the character and we are not going to allow a developer, through some loophole, to come in and change everything we fought for.”

Additionally, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, with the assistance of Senator Jeff Klein, will be working with residents to compile a list of objections to present to the BSA.Residents will also submit a petition with over 900 signatures from those who oppose the building.

The matter will go before the BSA on Tuesday, September 22, and all are encouraged to attend.

Travel accommodations are being arranged by the Allerton Avenue Homeowners and Tenants Association.For more information contact (718) 652-0414.

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