pick and click pick and click pick and click pick and click pick and click pick and click L I T T L E   I T A L Y
N E I G H B O R S   A S S O C I A T I O N   ( L I N A )

r e s o u r c e s  (cont'd)

The Fifth Precinct, at 19 Elizabeth Street (south of Canal Street), tel 334-0711, is responsible for preventing and responding to crime in Little Italy. John Piccone is the precinct's Community Relations Officer. See L I N A's letter to the precinct commander.

Elizabeth DeLeon, tel (212)335-9082, is the community liaison to our area for the Manhattan district attorney's office. She can provide information on crime in the neighborhood.

At 8 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month, the Fifth Precinct hosts a community forum. Local residents are invited to attend these meetings and voice their concerns about neighborhood policing issues.

TenantNet is a comprehensive online resource on landlord/tenant issues. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development may also be of use. Its Central Complaint Bureau operates a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week hotline, at (212) 960-4800 and (212) 316-8295, to field complaints regarding basic services such as lack of heat, hot water, cold water, electricity, and other building maintenance issues.

Giant billboards have been springing up all over the neighborhood, some illegally. If you notice a new one going up, it should be reported to the police (who can arrest the perpetrators if proper permission for the billboard hasn't been obtained) and to Tom Castele in Kathryn Freed's office at 787-7723.

zoning, construction & development
A special zoning district has been established in Little Italy as a means of preserving the neighborhood's historical and cultural character. The land use regulations applicable in the district encourage residential rehabilitation and new development on a scale consistent with existing buildings (in particular, by limiting new buildings to seven stories), while discouraging the demolition of noteworthy buildings. They also include requirements regarding landscaping, street trees, the provision of recreation space, etc.

The precise land use rules, as well as zoning maps, can be found online in the NYC Zoning Resolution (see Article X, Chapter 9). In addition, the NYC Zoning Handbook provides a useful overview of the Zoning Resolution, including information on special zoning districts.

All construction and/or demolition work must be approved prior to the commencement of work by the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). Electrical work requires prior approval by the NYC Department of Buildings Bureau of Electrical Control (BEC). DOB and BEC permits must be publicly posted at the construction site.

Construction/demolition/electrical projects can legally be done only from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Any work performed outside of these hours is illegal, unless the contractors have obtained a special permit and variance from the DOB Borough Commissioner, which requires a strong justification. Such a permit and variance must also be publicly posted.

If you suspect that illegal construction is be carried out, you can call the following numbers during normal business hours (9-5) to register a complaint (be sure to get a complaint number for future reference):

      (212)312-8530 (main complaint number for everything but electrical)

      (212)669-8353 (electrical only)

An inspector will be sent to the construction site and may stop work on the site and/or issue a violation that will have to cured before work can recommence.

bicycle racks
CityRacks provides FREE installation of sidewalk bicycle parking racks throughout NYC to encourage cycling for commuting, short trips, and errands (and, perhaps, to dissuade people from chaining their bicycles around trees, which is illegal and potentially very damaging to a tree).

CityRacks are installed at sites requested by businesses, local groups, City agencies, and private citizens. After installation CityRacks remain the property of the City of New York. The City assumes responsibility for the rack, but not the bicycles parked at it.

CityRacks installs the racks in a variety of sizes: an upside-down 'U' rack for two bikes, a single loop for three bikes, a double loop for five bikes, or a triple loop for up to seven bikes.

The siting criteria for CityRacks are as follows:

    City-owned property

    Wide sidewalks (minimum sidewalk width 12')

    Removed from natural flow of pedestrians, usually at curb and always away from crosswalks

    Usually a minimum of 6' from other street furniture (e.g., street signs, mailboxes, benches, telephones)

    Greater distances from certain features (e.g., up to 13' from hydrants, 15' from bus stop shelters and newsstands and 18' from subway entrances)

If you are interested in applying for a CityRack for a specific location(s), complete the online request form, which requires the following information:

    Your name; your address; your daytime telephone; your relation to establishment (owner, customer, employee, student, resident); name of business or establishment; street address; borough, state, zip; from which cross street to which cross street; neighborhood; any additional information or comments; if known: block #, lot #, location of vault.

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