FOREST HILLS—The long battle between Bicon Dental Implants and its neighbors is continuing, as the Gazette has learned that members of the Yale Terrace Neighborhood Association has a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court against the Bicon’s property-owning branch, Debbie LLC, and the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) over Bicon’s occupancy permit.
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case, which the court denied last month.
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 demolition and started a concerted effort to have the City’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD), which oversees the ZBA, yank Bicon’s occupancy permit. The neighbors say that Bicon operates a clinic, lab, and professional school without the proper permits.
ISD ruled in 2015 against the Yale Terrace Neighborhood Association in yanking the occupancy permit. The neighborhood association appealed that decision to the ZBA, which held a hearing on last March and referred it to the City’s Legal Department. The ZBA then ruled last July against the association’s appeal. Members of the association filed a lawsuit against Bicon and the ZBA last September.
“The board’s (ZBA) decision was arbitrary, capricious and in excess of the board’s authority as it has no basis in law or fact,” the lawsuit says. “The board failed to apply the explicit provisions of the zoning code in determining that Debbie is not operating an illegal clinic, clinical laboratory and/or professional school and has ignored the uncontroverted evidence that Debbie is, in fact, operating among other things, a professional school on the first floor of their building. Finally, the board acted with gross negligence, in bad faith or with malice in its consideration of the plaintiffs’ arguments and in denying plaintiffs’ request for enforcement of the zoning code.”
The lawsuit seeks to have the court revoke Bicon’s occupancy permit.
When asked for comment, the Yale Terrace Neighborhood Association said, “No comment,” while ISD spokesperson Lisa Timberlake said, “The Inspectional Services Department does not comment on pending litigation.” Bicon Dental Implants did not respond to a request for comment.
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.