By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The city is about to crack down hard on store owners in Borough Park and Midwood who put large storage containers on the streets in front of their shops and take up parking spaces, according to Councilman David Greenfield and Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein.
Greenfield and Perlstein are warning businesses in the two communities of the impending crackdown.
Merchants will likely be hit with fines if they don’t comply with the law. Store owners are required to have permits to put storage containers outside their shops.
Borough Park and Midwood are littered with dozens of the containers, Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) said. Yet, there are no valid permits are currently on file for any local business, he said. The containers take up parking spaces and pose a public safety threat because they block sight lines for drivers, the councilman said.
In response to the proliferation of these containers, the city’s Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO) will begin enforcement in conjunction with the Department of Sanitation. The enforcement measures will include issuing fines to businesses that do not have the necessary permits.
Greenfield said he is working to inform the community of the regulations to help prevent merchants from unwittingly receiving a fine for failing to obtain a permit.
Greenfield said that while he understands how important the storage containers are to store owners and that “the last thing I want is for a hard-working merchant to receive an unfair fine,” he added that merchants “must abide by the rules and regulations that are in place to make sure that businesses do not block our public streets.”
Community Board 12 is working with Greenfield to get the word out to business owners about the crackdown.
“It is vital that businesses obtain a permit before using public space for storage containers out of the need for fairness and safety. This enforcement is not to trick merchants or surprise them with tickets, so we are providing the community with a fair warning before the city begins issuing summonses,” Perlstein said.
Residents in both communities have expressed frustration with the illegal containers, Greenfield said.
Businesses can find out more information about the process for applying for a permit by visiting www.nyc.gov/cecm and clicking on the Street Activity Permit Office link along the left side of the page. Store owners can also call Greenfield’s office at 718-853-2704.