The Juniper Park Civic Association and Councilman Tony Avella held a press conference on a cold and snowy Sunday, December 2 in Maspeth to call on the city to force the owner of 57-39 Mazeau Street to demolish the 4-story structure as it violates the R4-1 zoning for this area and encroaches on the lot next door. Earlier this year, the owner instead demolished the original wood frame house, located at 57-37 Mazeau Street. He continues to negotiate with the Department of Buildings, looking for a way he can legalize the new house.

Meanwhile, across the street at 57-40 Mazeau Street, owner Stavros Stathakis has converted a garage into a house without permits. According to online DOB records, this house has $2,500 in unresolved building violations and no certificate of occupancy, yet it is currently on the market with a $600,000 asking price. Councilman Avella has written to Derek Lee, Queens Commissioner of Buildings, and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo about the property. “An unsuspecting homebuyer could purchase this home and be responsible for fixing the violations,” Avella said in his letters.

The Juniper Park Civic Association and Councilman Avella are calling for greater enforcement of building and zoning codes.

“These 2 homes facing each other on an otherwise quiet block are proof that builders feel they can get away with just about anything in Queens,” said JPCA Robert Holden.

Joining JPCA and Avella in calling for action were Historic Districts Council President Paul Graziano, website and book author Kevin Walsh (Forgotten NY), Jerry Rotondi, Chair of the Committee to Save the RKO Keith's Theater, Inc., and Harbachan Singh, Vice President of the Queens Civic Congress and about 30 concerned residents.