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OK for chicken shack redo - Community Board 15 backs restaurateur’s apt. bid

Community Board 15 sure loves its chicken – at least they love Vinnie Mazzone’s chicken.

Last week, they voted virtually unanimously at Kingsborough Community College to back Mazzone’s plans to build a three-story, mixed-use building on the site of his Chicken Masters restaurant at 1201 Avenue Z.

“They all eat my chicken – I deliver to them,” a confident Mazzone said just prior to the board vote on his variance request.

Mazzone needs the variance in order to go ahead with his plans to build five new apartments on the northeast corner of East 12th Street. The Chicken Masters restaurant would also continue to operate at the site.

According to Mazzone, two of the apartments will be for himself and his daughter, while the other three will be affordably-priced rentals.

The variance he’s seeking from the city is for floor area, yards, wall height, building height, setback, sky exposure plane and parking requirements.

Mazzone’s attorney pointed out the existence of several six-story buildings in the immediate vicinity to bolster his client’s assertion that the proposed new building would not be out of character.

But Mazzone wasn’t selling his plan as much as he was selling himself.

Touting his 27 years in the community, Mazzone proclaimed that he was no stranger to a 100-hour work week, explaining that when it snows, “I’m our shoveling everybody else’s walk.”

“I’m not here to develop,” Mazzone told Community Board 15 members. “I’m here to stay.”

Mazzone bought the Avenue Z property back in 2002 when it was a dress-making shop, and converted it into the very popular Chicken Masters restaurant.

Only Ed Eisenberg questioned the congestion at the corner of Avenue Z and East 12th Street and voted against the variance.

Fellow board member Henny Fischer, however, countered and said that Mazzone was a fine gentleman, and that traffic on the Chicken Masters’ block “flowed freely.”

Remembering that he also enjoys a good chicken sandwich, Eisenberg later changed his “no” vote to “abstain.”

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