October 3, 2013 | 1200 views
Letter to the Editor
Owner turned property into an eyesore
To the Editor:
After Dr. Leonard Bleicher purchased the stores on Gibson Boulevard, rather than build, Bleicher got rid of all the tenants, mainly by refusing to renew their leases, and then destroyed the stores and property, including the sidewalk as anyone can see.
Bleicher hired a former mayor, the late Dominick Minerva, to represent him in requesting about a half dozen variances, which the village Board of Zoning Appeals granted. Not only I, but many members of the Gibson community challenged Bleicher’s original plans for increasing the number of units from 23 to almost double that allowed under code, and requesting essentially four stories with little or no front or rear setback, which would mean the building would be up against the street curb in front with trees planned for between the building and curb, and the LIRR platform in the rear, with only one entrance/exit located on Muller Place.
It was because the community challenged Bleicher’s original plans that he revised his plans to also include another entrance/exit on Gibson Boulevard, and to increase the front and rear setbacks a little more, and to alter from condos to apartments. The BZA granted the variances, allowing Bleicher 38 units rather than the 44 originally requested, but still 15 more units than village code allowed for based on square footage.
No one ever stopped Bleicher from building. From seeing the type of owner Bleicher has been for the past eight years by destroying his own property and making it appear derelict and unsafe, to his hunger for greed by wanting and being approved by the BZA for almost twice the amount of units, to no play area for children, which village code states must be at least 25 feet, one can only be left to imagine the horror of children playing on the train trestle and railroad tracks. We also can only imagine what type of owner Bleicher would have been had he built.
Again, no one ever stopped Bleicher from building, but for whatever reason, he never built. The village should have him remove the stores, which he is responsible for making derelict and unsafe, at his expense. Maybe he would be able to find a buyer, and sell the property after he removes the stores he turned into an eyesore, since no one has purchased it after seeing the derelict and unsafe stores.