2004-12-10 / Community

City Rejects Plan For Carwash/Lube Spot

The city said ‘no’ this week to the attorney seeking a zoning variance to allow a carwash/lube operation in Edgemere, a decision that has the members of two civic groups and new homeowners in the area cheering.

Developers, represented by Great Neck attorney Adam Rothkrug, want to build “a new automatic carwash facility and accessory lubritorium” on the irregular property bounded by Rockaway Freeway, Seagirt Boulevard, and Far Rockaway Boulevard near Beach 32 Street.

The zoning variance request, which had support from Community Board 14 and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, failed to win an approval stamp from the Board of Standards and Appeal on Tuesday.

Steve Cooper, Frank Avenue Civic Association President, called the BSA’s decision a victory and a reason to celebrate, which he attributed to the “determination of civic associations and new homeowners.”

The Wave reported last week that community members had made progress in their fight against the proposal with Rothkrug admitting, at that time, that he was unsure his clients would get the go-ahead. Rothkrug also promised a court battle if the BSA ruled against his clients, Alprof Realty LLC and VFP Realty LLC. He was not immediately available to comment after the decision.

Cooper said battle over the future of the property could now just be beginning. “We’re still concerned that these people will go to court,” Cooper told The Wave this week. The BSA said Rothkrug would have 30 days to appeal.

The BSA’s resolution, which could provide insight into the agency’s specific reasons for the denial, was still being prepared as The Wave went to press.

Through the years the property has been the site of a gas station, medical clinic, and retail stores. Under the current zoning at the property a gas station/service garage and possibly an accessory carwash could be built, but Rothkrug said developers were not interested in selling gasoline.

City Planning documents show that the site is zoned for “service establishments… intended to serve a wider neighborhood.” The existing structures on the property are slated for demolition.

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