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CB 11 Unanimously Votes Against Variance for Huang Development

Board disapproves of developer continuing work on Bayside homes.

Community Board 11 unanimously voted down a variance Monday night for a controversial development in Bayside.

Controversial developer Tommy Huang had asked the board to grant a variance that would allow him to complete four homes being built in Bayside.

One of the homes is located at 39-39 223rd St., while the other three are at 39-01, 39-15 and 39-19 Mia Drive. Huang, who was convicted in 1999 of creating an oil spill in the basement of the historical RKO Keith’s Theatre in Flushing, did not attend the hearing.

The board unanimously voted to not grant the variance.

“This guy is bad news,” CB 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said of Huang. “If it were up to me, I wouldn’t let him build anything in the city of New York.”

A number of board members also said they vehemently opposed granting the variance.

“It’s illegal and dangerous,” board member Frank Skala said of the development. “It’s a monstrosity. This is the worst case of zoning finagling I’ve seen in my 10 years on the board.”

State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, penned a letter to the board in which he wrote that Huang’s “patterns of behavior are indicative of future behavior.” He also said he believed the development should be demolished.

The homes were originally built on approval from the city’s Department of Buildings. But a stipulation for the property was that a lot at the development would be considered a “through lot,” which would require for a road to be on the other side.

This would allow the developer to not comply with rear yard requirements typically associated with developments similar to Huang’s in terms of size. The DOB later reversed its decision and withdrew its permits for the development. 

A second hearing planned for CB 11’s meeting on a Union Turnpike Gulf station was cancelled because the applicant could not make it to Queens from Manhattan. It was postponed until next month’s meeting.

Michael Bosack November 06, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I fully agree with CB11's decision not to grant Huang a permit. His past history is appalling. He has a total disregard for any neighborhood that he plans to build in. He is a convicted criminal who should not be allowed to build anything anywhere. Everywhere in northeast Queens there are new buildings that don't conform with building typical in the area. They take lots that used to have one or two family dwellings and over build. Lots that had nice lawns and trees etc. are concreted corner to corner. All of this happened under the Liu crowd. I'm very happy to see they didn't get away with it this time around. However, we must be vigilant as they will keep trying again and again. I say enough is enough. This is not Hong Kong where people live on top of one another like rats. One only needs to look at downtown Flushing which has been destroyed by this type of development.
Barbara Chin November 07, 2012 at 12:48 PM
While I may agree that the Huang Corporation has not been a paragon of civic virtue the last post smacks of racism, implying that Chinese immigrants are used to living like rats....and maybe are like rats.
Phil Konigsberg November 07, 2012 at 11:06 PM
I applaud CB 11 for unanimously voting down the variance request from developer Huang. It is individuals like Huang that unfortunately continue to be the billboard for the shameful side of this profession. Although I am confident that BP Helen Marshall will review the variance request and come to the same conclusion that CB 11 did, however, the final decision rests in the hands of the blatantly developer-friendly BSA jury at 40 Rector Street. After what he did to the RKO Keith's in Flushing, I am astonished that he has been able to continue to exercise his deplorable behavior, but now fearful that with all the rebuilding that will be occurring in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island in the aftermath of Sandy, that Huang will be out there roaming free like a hungry shark.
Newton Roberts November 23, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I'm not sure that Michael Bosack understands what took place at CB11. CB11 didn't decide not to grant Huang a permit. They voted to advise the Bureau of Standards and Appeals (the B.S.A.) that Huang should not be given a variance. A variance is a special permission to break the law. One gets a variance granted via the usual channels in matters like this. As a convicted felon, Huang will know who to go to and what to do - the variance will be granted. The B.S.A. could care less about what CB11 (of any other community board) thinks, and almost always grants variances in cases like this, which is why Northeastern Queens is being turned into a substandard area. B.S.A. depends on the fact that most people don't even know that they exist, let alone how they operate. They are not elected, and were appointed by Bloomberg. Bloomberg despises Queens, and is all too willing to let the B.S.A. lay waste to our neighborhoods.
Newton Roberts November 23, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Racism? Nobody said anything about race. When Huang destroyed the lobby of the land-marked RKO theater in Flushing and flooded the basement with oil, he showed contempt for the culture of the people who built a multiracial society so great that others from all over the world accept an invitation to come here and join in. This is not about race, it is about respect for others, quality of life, and decent living conditions. Saying that Huang "has not been a paragon of civic virtue" is like saying that a child molester showed "poor manners". Everyone, regardless of race, or country of origin who lives in Queens need to step up to the plate and defend our borough. Please don't cop out by playing the race card. Instead join in and help to make Queens a great place to live for all people. Call our new congresswoman Grace Meng and ask her to launch a federal investigation of the B.S.A.'s slimy practices when she arrives in Washington. How proud we will all be when that happens!

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