BY JOE MARVILLI
College Point inhabitants and State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) met across the street from a residential lot, protesting the commercial trucks that are parked there.
A handful of residents living near 14-29 130th St., in College Point, joined Avella to express their outrage over a situation that has gone on for more than two decades. TNP Trucking has been using a lot near their business to store their trucks. However, the lot is in a residential area, according to the zoning code. The lot’s neighbors said the trucks are operating there illegally.
According to the community members who spoke, this ongoing problem has been causing them headaches for about 24 years. Turan Ats, who lives less than a block away from the lot, said that this press conference is the latest step in what has been a long battle against TNP.
“We’ve been fighting this one a long time,” he said. “This is against the City and State laws. This place is supposed to be residential.”
The residential lot also has three curb cuts, two more than a lot of its size should have.
Although Avella told both TNP and the lot’s owner that the plot of land is residential, both sides pointed fingers at the other for why the trucks are parked there. TNP said they are there because they have a lease with the owner, but the owner said he cannot just cancel the lease.
“We’ve got both sides putting it on the other,” Avella said. “The very fact that they’ve been allowed to run illegally out of this site for over two decades is absolutely disgraceful.”
As a result of the press conference, Avella said the Dept. of Buildings has started to investigate the issue, with a hearing scheduled for the padlock unit on June 4. If the hearing goes in the community’s favor, it would create a major inconvenience for the company and the lot owner.
“The trucks that are on there will be locked in there,” he said. “Not only will TNP trucks be locked, but hopefully the owner of the property will have sufficient reason to cancel the lease.”
Besides the zoning violations, the community members also criticized TNP for its violation of environmental laws. According to Ats, oil and antifreeze are not being properly disposed of on the main site, which is only a block away. The runoff instead seeps into the ground or runs down the street to the sewer.
“The conditions have been deplorable. There’s truck noise all hours of the night and day,” Bob Amato, another College Point resident, said. “They operate their business with absolutely no concern for their neighbors.”
Avella said that once the illegally parked trucks are no longer a problem, his office will turn its focus towards the environmental issues found on TNP’s main site.
“The first thing is to get them out of this lot. The second thing is to really crack down on their main lot,” he said. “The residents feel, and I agree with them, that they’re abusing City and State environmental laws. This has to go.”
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @JoeMarvilli.