Meet Sheepshead Bay’s “Three Amigos!” Carl Kruger, Theresa Scavo, and Michael Nelson.
In front of Lundys – now Cherry Hill Market – the “Three Amigos” threw a surprise Good Friday photo opp. If a Good Friday photo op isn’t surprising to you, consider this: as a Good Friday Processional by St. Mark’s Church were walking by, they continued to take pictures. Barbara Berardelli of the Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association actually had to ask them to stop out of respect for the occasion. While they complied, all three remained with their backs turned as the Processional proceeded. Father Grimaldi, of St. Marks even went over to acknowledge Councilman Nelson, who did not respond in kind.
Kruger, Scavo, Nelson and the people from Cherry Hill then debated their points of view regarding the building’s use. Kruger said that any business selling groceries (ie putting them in bags, cashiers, shopping carts, etc.) that’s not allowed on Emmons Avenue or in the Sheepshead Bay Special District. Meanwhile, there are at least two other small markets within three blocks of Cherry Hill, that bag groceries and have cashiers. Yet, they are not being targeted by the Three Amigos.
When pressed, Senator Kruger had no answers as to why his press release pre-dated the actual DOB violations, and all three disclaimed credit for the stop work order. Scavo even went as far to say that Cherry Hill’s representatives were “giving us too much credit” for getting the work stopped – an interesting point to make considering they were all literally outside taking photos so they could all presumably take credit for stopping Cherry Hill. It might be worth nothing that Mike Nelson hardly uttered a word the whole time.
Then after the meeting on the street, Barbara Berardelli approached the “Three Amigos” and asked them how they could justify keeping her Civic Association in the dark about the stop work orders. She angrily took great offense to them doing all of this on Good Friday and noted their behavior of ignoring the procession of St. Mark’s. Scavo responded saying “You didn’t know(about the stop work order)? It was was all over the blog” (Apparently Gerritsenbeach.net is now the main source of information for Sheepshead Bay political news for local civics – not CB 15). I even heard Mrs. Berardelli scream out to Kruger “You don’t represent me!” she continued that the three of them would not have acted so disrespectfully if this were a Jewish Holiday, or if they were in a all-Jewish Neighborhood.
Anthony Kelly, project manager of Cherry Hill, then gave his account of recent events. According to Kelly, DOB Deputy Commissioner Bryan Winter came into the building and told them that their plan approval has been revoked and that he was taking their copy of the plans away from them. Kelly responded by stating that the Brooklyn DOB commissioner Derrek Lee, Winter’s boss, had signed off that all work had been completed, therefore the building was no longer a work site and Winter’s actions were totally improper – and that there was no way Winter was leaving with their plans.
After further conversation, Winter left the premises and returned later that day with a new stop work order revoking the “sign off”, pulling the plan approval, and ordering that all work stop. Violations were for: (1) work contrary to plan and (2) use contrary to zoning. The work contrary to plans consisted of TWO shelve units that supposedly did not appear on the approved plans. The use contrary to zoning violation is DOB’s answer to the much debated question of whether Cherry Hill is a market or restaurant – DOB was declaring that the primary use was for a market. But, according to Kelly, the plans show that 60% of the floor area usage is for a restaurant, while 40% is used for a market, making the market use “accessory” in nature.
Since the issued violations, Cherry Hill is consulting an attorney regarding legal action not only to fight the DOB violations, but to consider whether the Three Amigos’ actions are wrongful.
Video of the entire “Meeting”