Rockaway homeowners to become landowners

August 28, 2008 at 2:30 am Leave a comment

The owners of 17 bungalows on a Jamaica Bay pier in the Rockaways will finally be given the chance to buy the property on which the homes sit.

Many of the homes have been passed down from generation to generation for the past century.

Legislation allowing the city to sell the Beach 84th St. Pier to the residents living there was signed by Gov. Paterson last month.

“If you own the house, you should be able to own the property under it,” said Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska. “It will be nice for the people to be able to own the land and be able to borrow money to fix it up.”

“It should be a win-win and help preserve one of the unique neighborhoods on the Rockaway peninsula, if not in the whole city,” Gaska added.

Taryn Duffy, whose father, Ronald, owns one of the bungalows, said, “To the naked eye to anybody who has never been down there and doesn’t know what a summer night is down there, they really look like nothing.

“But for the people who have spent their summers down there for 50 years, they are everything.

“This property means the world in sentimental value. It has been a home for generations and generations for these people,” she added.

Gaska said he expects the city to start its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure next month or in October to allow the owners to buy the property.

Normally the city sells only surplus property and at a public auction, said Citywide Administrative Services spokesman Marc Daly.

It has not yet been determined what the price will be, “but it is expected to be nominal,” Daly said.

“Home ownership is the backbone of a growing and vital community. This legislation allows the longtime residents of the area ownership of their property,” said Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway), who with State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) sponsored the legislation.

The pier was owned by the state and then the city for almost a century.



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