Jul. 31, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed
As she continues to work on keeping the streets safe and walkable for Flushing residents, Councilwoman Sandra Ung recently announced that the 109th Precinct and the city Department of Sanitation (DSNY) enforced regulations against CJ Supermarket for illegally occupying sidewalk space along Main Street and 41st Avenue.
CJ Supermarket’s tables and items, such as fruits and produce, were confiscated on July 26, following the market’s failure to comply with the law regarding property setting out stoop stands and tables.
“Over the past three years, the owner has been issued citations multiple times every week by both the NYPD and the Department of Sanitation for ignoring sidewalk obstruction regulations, blocking pedestrian pathways and illegally placing tables and fruit stands under the LIRR tracks,” Ung said. “Our office has received dozens of complaints from seniors and those with mobility impairments who are unable to walk past the supermarket.”
CJ’s Supermarket did not immediately respond to QNS’ request for comment.
Since January of 2021, CJ’s Supermarket, located at 40-33 Main St., has incurred more than $20,000 in fines for various violations of the city’s regulations governing the display of items on public property. Because of repeated violations, the supermarket’s stoop line stand license was revoked by the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.
Since 2001, CJ Supermarket has received a number of violations for sidewalk obstruction, street obstruction, a dirty sidewalk, failure to clean 18 inches into the street, operating an MFVU unit with a permit in any public space, and loose rubbish, according to the NYC Open Data portal.
In June 2022, Ung sent a letter to CJ Supermarket requesting that the owner remedy the current situation.
“I know this is not the first time you have been made aware of this problem by elected officials, the 109th Precinct, and city agencies on behalf of frustrated Flushing residents and the tens of thousands of commuters who pass through the neighborhood on a near-daily basis,” Ung wrote in the letter. “I hope we can work together and finally find a solution that permanently removes the obstacles.”
In the letter, Ung said pedestrians were forced to “navigate a narrow space between the displays and the Long Island Railroad overpass, creating a choke point and bottleneck of pedestrians.” The councilwoman noted that CJ patron who would stop to peruse the items for sale, as well as the CJ employees restocking the items, added to the congestion and exacerbated the situation.
Moving forward, Ung said she hope’s the owner will be a good neighbor and respect the laws of the city.
Earlier this year, the councilwoman led efforts for crackdowns and punitive measures against street vendors that were creating a risk to public safety. In March, officers from the 109th Precinct issued summonses to unlicensed street vendors and confiscated a wide range of merchandise.