Battle continues over Bicon Dental Implants

FOREST HILLS—The battle over Bicon Dental Implants’ occupancy permit is continuing, with the company reportedly applying for a change in its use, while the Yale Terrace Neighborhood Association is still asking the City to revoke the permit, according to a neighborhood association letter.

Bicon did not respond to a request for comment.

Bicon, a 501 Arborway company, has stirred controversy in the area by demolishing a 19th century house at 21 Yale Terrace for a new development. The neighborhood association had tried to stop the company from doing that and has now started a concerted effort to have the City’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) yank Bicon’s occupancy permit.

Gerry O’Connor of the Yale Neighborhood Association sent a letter to ISD on June 9, a follow-up to the previous occupancy permit request.

In the latest letter, O’Connor states that the neighborhood association has learned from an ISD representative that Bicon has applied for an occupancy permit for “general offices and professional school.” The letter says that a “professional school” is forbidden under the zoning code for the first floor and basement area, a use the association contends Bicon currently has in its building.

The letter also reiterates that the company apparently uses its property for several uses—including operating a dental clinic and laboratory—that are not permitted under the City’s zoning code. Those concerns also were raised several years ago, when ISD claimed it could find no such uses at Bicon despite them being advertised on the company’s website and in dental industry trade publications. O’Connor’s previous letter included images from the Bicon website showing such services.

“In order for the zoning process to provide reliable oversight, and to protect neighbors and neighborhoods from undesirable and unregulated business activities, it is imperative that property owners provide truthful and complete information to ISD so that the proper public process can take place,” O’Conor wrote. “We look forward to the prompt initiation of this process in the case of the permit application in question.”

Asked for comment, ISD spokesperson Lisa Timberlake responded, “We do not have a comment at this time.”

Bicon has a history of controversial expansions and operations that have drawn neighborhood complaints, City citations and City Council hearings.

Berta Berriz, the former owner of 21 Yale Terrace, says that she was “deceived” by a buyer who claimed to be a family-minded local grandmother into selling the historic house to the neighboring Bicon Dental Implants. Berriz did not want to sell the house to Bicon.

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