A bustling but illegal truck parking lot in a residential part of Red Hook has drawn the ire of neighbors and has called into question how effectively city agencies share information, the Daily News has learned.
Since December, the Richards St. lot has been used as a parking lot for dozens of trailers, which buzz along streets that aren’t sanctioned for truck traffic while children play in Coffey Park across the street.
But the lot in the residentially zoned area has avoided repeated zoning complaints because the city Buildings Department has incorrectly identified it as a manufacturing district, according to records.
“This illegal parking lot has been operating for nearly half a year and nothing has been done,” said John McGettrick, co-chairman of the Red Hook Civic Association. “It’s the safety of the children primarily that’s a concern but also the failure of city agencies to communicate.”
McGettrick voiced complaints about the lot in February by calling the city’s 311 hotline. Operators routed him to a Buildings Department liaison who took the complaint but never rectified the problem, McGettrick said.
Notes on the agency’s Web site refer to the area as a manufacturing district – and on three occasions, that incorrect designation was used to invalidate complaints about the lot.
“No action necessary based upon physical observation,” reads a note by inspector Michael Bach in April. “Property is in a M1-1 district which allows auto parking storage.”
However, Rachaele Raynoff of the City Planning Department confirmed the area where the lot is situated has been earmarked for residential development since 2002.
Alerted to the discrepancy by the Daily News, Buildings Department spokeswoman Kate Lindquist said inspectors would review the site today and issue violations if necessary.
“We are investigating the site,” said Lindquist. “If we find that it’s being used contrary to zoning, we will take any and all action possible to ensure the property is used as it should be.”
The area has been the scene of fatal traffic incidents over the past several years. A 10-year-old Brooklyn girl was killed by a city snowplow in January 2005, and a Sunset Park woman fatally struck near Van Brunt St. last summer.
Operators of the truck parking lot could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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