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Condo Tenants Ticketed After Architect Left No Room for Trash, They Say

By Meredith Hoffman | December 6, 2012 9:57am

WILLIAMSBURG — Residents of two recently built condos claim they have been given nowhere to put trash, forcing them to use makeshift receptacles that violate the city's trash code.

Condo owners at 59, 61 and 63 Conselyea St. said they have been fined for placing trash enclosures on the sidewalk without a permit since they have no other spot to place their garbage. 

"[The board] got a fine from the Department of Sanitation for $100," said Penny Stankiewicz, the president of her condo board and a resident on the development's first floor, about a violation she received in October.

"But we have no common area to put trash ... The city has no code requiring developers to actually build a garbage room."

Stankiewicz said she has been trying to figure out where to put trash ever since she moved into her building in 2007, and she claimed her architect failed to consider the city's requirement that residents not place their trash curbside on days other than pick-up days.

A Department of Sanitation spokeswoman confirmed that the summons was issued for blocking the sidewalk with the receptacle. 

The architect, Rob Scarano Jr., declined to comment.

Stankiewicz noted that her building was not the only one with such a dilemma, and she said that she had applied for permission to place the receptacles outside the building but was still awaiting a response from the city.

Williamsburg Community Board 1 members agreed that the problem was widespread around the neighborhood, and some said that it was the city's responsibility to change its policy to require that developers provide trash receptacles.

"If you're going to do a big construction project it should be asked, 'Where do you put trash?'" said board member Ryan Kuonen, noting that she had seen buildings "all over the neighborhood" with residents' cans on the sidewalk.

"Technically, it's stupid that the Department of Buildings doesn't notice there's nowhere for these people to put trash," she said.

Officials with the Department of Buildings did not comment on the lack of a policy and said that the condo building had received no violations for lack of trash receptacles.

Community Board 1 member Tom Burrows said the garbage from some buildings was a big mess, including outside one set of apartments on Jackson Street.

But residents of that building denied that and said they feared losing the ability to store trash outside.

"We're fighting to keep these — we always keep them clean," resident Carrie Morrissey said of the line of trash cans by the street. "We're worried we might have to move them." 

She did say there was a mess in the days after Hurricane Sandy, when recycling and trash pick-ups were stalled.

Morrissey, who moved into the building a year ago, said bringing the cans inside would prove problematic for residents.

"We have no personal space outside of where we live," she said. "If we had to have them in the hallway we'd have mice or rats instantaneously."