NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Talk of the Sound has expanded its investigation into Flavio LaRocca.
Over the past several days we have been looking at two other properties both not far from East Street near City Park.
The first property is 71 Potter Avenue, a parcel of land located between the Potter Avenue Bridge and City Park. The use of the property appears to be a valid, legal use of the property, property owned by FMLR LLC. Although the property is zoned as Residential Multi-Family it has a “non-conforming use” status which allows it to be used as a commercial space. There is, however, a question about the garage in the back. All areas of the property other than the garage and house have been paved over to create parking for trucks and heavy equipment. The front yard of the property has been converted into a five-car parking lot complete with striping. The Assessment Card on file with the City of New Rochelle Building Bureau shows a 40 foot wide, 10 room two-family house and and a 31 foot wide, one-story garage. A visual inspection of the property and satellite images indicates that the one-story garage has been demolished and a 40 foot wide, 2 story garage built in the area of the original garage. The second floor is supposed to be storage space. Without an inspection of the property it is impossible to determine whether that is the actual use of the space.office-space or housing.
The second property is the corner of Potter Avenue and Fifth Avenue, a parcel of land just across the street from East Street. There is no mailing address, it is part of the Fifth Ave Overlay Zone and its designated Property Class is “Billboard”. There are three billboards on the property. Two of the billboards were first erected in 1925, the third in 1954, according to building department records.
Beneath the billboards, two areas have been fenced off and shelves erected with the pens. Each pen is used to store a LaRocca & Sons trucks and various building supplies including Belgian block stones, lumber, gravel, bricks, cinder blocks, lawn equipments, flagstone, PVC tubes, a trailer, ladders and other equipment and supplies.
According to City officials the use of the property to store building supplies is not a permitted use.
The property is owned by Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded company on the New York State Exchange and a subsidiary of iHeartMedia, Inc. It is one of the world's largest outdoor advertising corporations, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.
Matthew Schwartz is a former member of the New Rochelle Zoning Board member, a New Rochelle resident and executive at Clear Channel New York. Contacted last Friday by Talk of the Sound, Schwartz said he was familiar with the billboard but was not aware that LaRocca was operating his business on Clear Channel property. Schwartz said today that there is an ongoing internal investigation as to LaRocca’s use of the parcel at Potter Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
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