Protecting a Local Retail Zoning District from an Illegal Underground Shopping Mall

TakeRoot’s Equitable Neighborhoods team represents Queens Neighborhoods United (QNU), New York City Council Member Francisco Moya, New York State Senator Jessica Ramos, Desis Rising Up and Moving and individual QNU members in litigation against the City and the developer to enforce the zoning regulations designed to limit retail uses in residential areas. Developers are seeking to build an underground mall that will draw people from outside the community to shop in Elmhurst, Queens, in violation of the zoning of the property.

Court Documents

Queens Neighborhoods United v. Department of Buildings, Board of Standards and Appeals & Target, Petition

Affidavit of Tania Mattos Jose, QNU, with all public submissions to BSA as exhibits

Affidavit of Alexandra Owens, QNU, with permits that developers have gotten to do construction work on nearly every Saturday since construction started

Affidavit of Jorge Cabanillas, describing police intimidation during public hearings

Affidavit of Council Member Francisco Moya describing rezoning developers sought and did not get

Affidavit of Senator Jessica Ramos

Affidavit of Zoning Expert Richard Nagan

Affidavit of Daniel Carpenter-Gold with evidence that Target refers to its stores as “department stores”

Administrative Advocacy

The Board of Standards and Appeals in a little-known appointed body empowered to grant variances from zoning law to developers and to review decisions of the Department of Buildings. TakeRoot’s Equitable Neighborhoods team represents community organizations seeking to challenge construction permits for projects that violate zoning before this body. Documents submitted before the Board can be found here. Click for Decision.