Today’s news:

DOB raps Windjammer - 15 rooms forced to close

A Sheepshead Bay motel with a problematic prior history was hit with 15 building code violations last week.

Department of Building [DOB] inspectors issued the violations after inspectors found 15 rooms inside the motel located at 2951 Bragg Street failed to provide patrons with adequate light and ventilation.

According to the DOB, those rooms are now off limits to motel clientele until changes are made.

A complaint recorded on September 25 alleged unsafe conditions inside the hotel due to a lack of egress from the interior rooms.

Local authorities, acting on a nuisance abatement order, shut down the motel for two months back in 2003.

Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo welcomed the DOB’s action last week and says that the Windjammer remains a problem in the community.

“It’s about time,” Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo said. “Let’s clean up what’s ever rotten in our neighborhood.”

Windjammer Motel manager Terry Lyght described the motel today as a “quiet place” that caters to out-of-towners and students.

He blames the Windjammer’s current problems with the DOB on the owner of a nearby “storage facility” intent on causing trouble for the motel.

“We’re having problems with the landlord next door,” Lyght said. “He’s making some mischief.”

Others insist that illicit activities inside the motel persist.

Concern is especially acute among members of the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association who fear that the motel – tucked behind the Comfort Inn on Emmons Avenue – will negatively impact their efforts to realize a new public park at Brigham Street.

“Safety was and is a major priority for the Brigham St. Park project,” lead organizer Gene Berardelli said. “We’ve heard the concerns at our summer workshops about the Windjammer, about speeding traffic, and Plumb Beach. We’re hoping that sunshine will be the best disinfectant for the problems in the areas surrounding the parkland.”

According to Lyght, the motel is now working to correct the violations. He would not say whether or not the 15 rooms cited by the DOB remain in use.

“We need an architect to put in some vents,” Lyght said. “The landlord does not want me to talk about the rooms.”

“Based on what I’ve been shown by experts, I believe that the building is unsafe,” Berardelli said. “There are blocked exits and windows sealed shut. Hopefully, everything will be addressed. “

Berardelli says that the goal of his group is to “shut down any unsafe practices in the area – whether it comes from the surrounding businesses or the people who frequent them.”

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