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Queens Chronicle

Tree removal deemed illegal

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Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:30 am

The Department of Buildings and the city Planning Commission decided this week that removal of trees in a Fresh Meadows Special Planned Community Preservation District constitutes substantial modification.

The word “substantial” had been debated for a week before the DOB took action against the owner of the former Klein farm for cutting down several large shade trees on the 2.5-acre property at 194-15 73 Ave.

An Environmental Control Board violation was issued Wednesday for the significant modification of an existing landscape at the site in violation of zoning, according to DOB spokeswoman Kelly Magee. The ticket cites illegal removal of trees.

No date has been set for the ECB hearing and possible fines were expected to be determined later this week.

The site is owned by Audrey Realty, a firm of convicted developer Thomas Huang. Henry Huang, his son, denied knowledge of the tree removal last week.

Marie Adam Ovide, Community Board 8 district manager, said Huang may be forced to plant large trees to replace those felled.

— Liz Rhoades

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