Source: Google Maps

It’s lies, damned lies!

That’s the response offered by the owner of Z-Best Car Wash at 2784 Coney Island Avenue, which has received thousands of dollars in violations from the city, in addition to earning the ire of a local politician calling for it to cease operations.

Allegations that the business is skirting zoning laws and making too much noise are “completely false,” said Z-Best’s owner, Rusell Shern, who added that the car wash is being “treated unfairly” by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz.

Asked to elaborate on the violations and the business’ relationship with neighbors, Shern declined further comment.

The controversy erupted last week, when Cymbrowitz demanded the city issue a cease-and-desist order against the car wash’s operations, claiming that they have refused to reform despite more than a year of complains from neighbors.

Department of Buildings records reveal that Z-Best has been the target of noise, construction and light-pollution complaints from neighbors who reside around the business, which abuts Gerald Court. The machinery inside the wash produces a loud humming noise every time a car goes through. One neighbor told Sheepshead Bites that the noise can be heard from inside her house everyday from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.

The location has been a car wash for years, but in 2010, after two years of being closed, the property was taken over by new owners who updated equipment and overhauled the building. The Department of Buildings has received 25 official complaints since late 2010, when construction began, and the majority of complaints relate to noise disturbances.

A “Stop Work Order” was issued in 2011 and is still in dispute, preventing the building’s owners from doing any further construction – even if it’s to remedy noise problems.

Additionally, the Department of Building’s Environmental Control Board has slapped the owners with a $4,000 fine for operating the car wash in a residential area, contrary to permitted zoning use.

Cymbrowitz also noted in last week’s press release that the Department of Environmental Protection “issued numerous violations to the car wash for excessive noise” over the past year.

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  • Alex

    Rusell Shern is a liar with no defense. He lied most of his adult life and karma caught up to him. Cybrowitz, am voting for you. Close this car wash. 

    • Out for Justice

      Alex, call me crazy but what is your hidden agenda? I see that throughout the entire page, you continuously claim and I add RELENTLESSLY accuse RuselI Shern, of being a criminal! I find it very interesting that you say such things; where are your facts? What information do you have to prove such badgering statements? The better question that arises here how do you know that he is
      using illegal immigrants.
      I find it very funny that Mr. Cymbrowtiz, or Shall I say Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, took the time to come out and conduct a mass media event right by the car wash only months before his re-election. Where was all the commotion prior to his re-election; really now, two media events right around that time and only that time can make any person begin to contemplate!
      I do not know I find it vaguely strange! In addition, to make it even more of comic scene only 4 people show up and claim the same ridiculous facts!
      Alex, I truly do not understand your purpose of constantly reiterating the same
      things! However, I do believe after much research and reviewing quite few of many things. It is daunting to learn where most of these complaints came from; whether be to DOB, DEP or ECB!!! In my opinion, someone here is using massive force to use persuasion. You seem to be a very talented being you do the math and figure out what persuasion I am referring too. Strikingly odd, that DOB issues such permits and allows such plan to occur at said premises; yet after sometime one call is made to DOB by someone whom we shall not name and poof the whole plan is illegal. Humorous how politics can turn for the worse, if applied so viciously can work wonders! Once
      again I feel compelled to raise the questions; how do you know who Rusell Shern is, how do you know about his adult life and karma?
      Alex, to rap up this foolish rambling spree of yours I conclude, it is quite obvious that you are in someone’s pocket the only question that I derive from all your posts is how much exactly are you being paid to say such things?? I really hope you have factual evidence to claim your accusations; otherwise, you are aware that what you are doing with Rusell Shern’s name is LIBEL and SLANDER!

  • kpax

    Cybrowitz is a democrat – know as much about small business, as he does about ancient mongol culture……..

    • Alex

      Small business or big business should not get away with breaking the law. Its about an illegal business that is in the wrong zoning. 

      • Lport

        Alex, how much are  you getting from Cymbrowitz? People invested money, got all permits from DOB. What do they have to do now? Ask your boss to lift a Stop Work Order from DOB, so they can install what they were planning to in order to avoid noise problems. You are right businesses should not get away with breaking the law. What about elected officials for using political power against people and businesses.

        • Out for Justice

          Lport, I agree with you!

    • Out for justice

      Kpax, indeed you are correct!

  • Arthur Borko

    It seems to me as if people got used to having an abnormally quiet street to themselves while the previous place was out of business. 

    I wonder what’s going to happen when they drive this place out of business and no other investor or businessman will be willing to devote their time and money to risk running a business at this location because of the neighbors. Who’s gonna be hurt then? One empty/condemned lot is begging for more to crop up. It’s like cancer. 

    Look, get over yourselves. If you lived on East 15th and East 16th and the Q train was out of commission for 2 years, would you turn around and sue the MTA once it started running again because you weren’t accustomed to the noise? Of course not that would be ludicrous.

    You’re supposed to be adults and we’re supposed to be able to solve our problems with discussion and a bit of compassion. Stop attacking the guys business and most likely his liveleyhood. Come to an agreement so he can put up a sound barrier and maybe restrict washes at 9pm to hand wash only.

    Those of you calling for blood over a little bit of environmental noise, in New York City of all things disgust me. Count your blessings that it’s as quiet as it is where you are. 

    • Alex

      If you know Rusell, you know know he is bad news. He is so comfortable doing illegal things that he got caught and can’t talk his way out of it. They should have gotten a variance and case closed. Don’t compare MTA, for the good of the public and the car wash, for the good of Rusell’s pocket. 

      • Arthur Borko

        As far as I’m aware I don’t know the owner and I’ve never met him. I’m simply commenting on the issue as an outside observer, and what I see is a new business replacing an old one, creating jobs and creating tax revenue in an area where none existed before. 

        As for your allegations of his criminal conduct, apparently there’s not enough evidence otherwise he’d have been arrested by now. Did he do anything different that other business owners haven’t already done in this city with the way our system is set up? You can’t target one person just because the place he puts up inconveniences you, then ignore everyone else. If you have a problem with the way people manipulate the system to get building permits then the law needs to be enforced at the start, and/or changed. You cant just turn a blind eye one place, and not in another. 

        There was a car wash here in the past and there’s a new one here now, if there was some law that prevented that due to some technicality then it was a bullshit law, and if he got around that technicality with another one then so be it. Blame the system itself not someone trying to make a living by surviving it.

        The money is spent, the business exists, people have jobs and depend on this place for their livleyhood. You want to send them home to their kids because their job is noisy and bothers you? 

        If you’re so hellbent at closing  the place then at least do it the legit and honorable way, find a crime he’s breaking now, forget the ones he supposedly broke to get here, because those will have you tried up in court with no evidence for ages. 

        My biggest concern in all this is that he doesn’t scratch the paint on the car and that he’s not using illegal immigrants. 

        • Alex

          How do you know he is not using illegal immigrants?

          • Arthur Borko

            I don’t, innocent till proven guilty remember, but that’s really the only thing about this place that concerns me. Of course if someone has any solid evidence they should document it and send a copy to authorities.

          • Truth

            In regards to “How do you know he is not using illegal immigrants?”

            NYC has plenty of illegal immigrants and the city is aware of it and every business uses them. No one cares to fix the problem or ever address the concern.

  • Local

    I think there is an error in the article. I have been living right behind the car wash since 2006 and the car wash has been closed all this time.

  • Jouster

    The only people defending Z-Best do not live in our neighborhood. If they did, I bet they would quickly change their minds: the noise levels generated by Z-Best have to be heard to be believed. The self-described outsiders who defend Z-Best do it on the general principle that any business that brings revenue and jobs to New York City should be allowed to operate, even if the business does so in defiance of applicable zoning laws, because the benefit that the business provides to the larger community necessarily outweighs the harm it causes to the immediate community in which it operates. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that this argument is, at best, extremely speculative: there is no way that the proponent of this argument is in a position to weigh the associated costs and benefits. Furthermore, while I agree that some laws are best honored in the breach, the zoning laws that Z-Best is flouting are not in that category: these laws were established in order to protect the local community from the very nuisance that this arrogant lying, criminal business is generating every single day it operates (which is every day of the week, except for days when, thank God, it rains). 

    Please see prior comments I have posted for additional details.

    • Alex

      Also, property value may drop next to the car wash if they are not closed. The noise sound like a loud factory. 

    • Arthur Borko

      I’ve been to the 7/11 next door while this place was open and I’ve never heard excessive noise despite being a few feet away outside. 

      As for the laws he “May” have broken while building the place I’ll return to my previous argument. The laws of the land need to be applied equally across all businesses. It’s not fair to single out a single unfavorable business after the fact to shut them down. Do you know how many places up and down Coney Island Ave and in Sheepshead Bay would be shut down if the city decided to go after them retroactively? 

      The primary complaint you people have is the noise, right? Fine. Let the owner address the issue in a timely manner. Right now he can’t unless he breaks the law again. How does that help anyone by entrapping someone?

      The stop work order should be lifted, a sound barrier or sound dampening system needs to be installed, and the people affected compensated for the aggravation (give them free car washes or pay for a portion of their own private sound dampening windows), and then lets see where everyone is. 

      Are you guys really willing to cut off your own noses in spite yourselves? A closed/dead business at this location is WORSE then what’s there now. Whatever business ends up moving in could be a bigger problem and cause more headaches and might be less willing to work to fix the issue….

      Get over yourselves, this is New York City, stop acting like you’re from the suburbs of Iowa. 

      If the owner of the place is not willing to compromise then he deserves to get screwed.

      • Jouster

        If you have stood near the car wash and have not heard “excessive” noise, then you and I have very different definitions of “excessive” and/or you suffer (or, in this case, benefit) from “excessive” hearing loss. I never said that the owner of Z-Best “may” have broken the law: I said that he did. I said this on the basis of actually knowing, as everybody in the neighborhood who has lived here for many years knows, that the old car wash was inoperational for more than two years; therefore, contrary to claims made by Z-Best, Z-Best is not grandfathered and was required by law to seek a zoning variance prior to commencing construction and operation. Every day they are operating they are committing a crime. Furthermore, the city is not going after Z-Best retroactively, except in the very limited sense that the Department of Buildings (DOB) issued a construction permit to Z-Best based on the false claim Z-Best had made that they were grandfathered; when the DOB realized that they had been conned, they revoked the permit. So any retroactivity on the city’s part is on account of Z-Best’s having lied to the city. Moreover, we neighbors have been filing complaints against Z-Best since at least September of 2011 and the city has gone after Z-Best since at least October of 2011. Z-Best’s continuing to operate all this time is a reflection of their ability to game the system, but this is finally coming to an end: there are only so many adjournments of Environmental Control Board (ECB) hearings you can obtain before even the ECB judges realize they are being played.All this time, Z-Best could have taken a variety of steps to minimize the noise generated by its machinery, but it has taken very few such steps. The managers claim that a DOB stop work order prevents them from taking these steps, but that claim is bogus for three reasons. First, if Z-Best had been serious about quieting its operation, it could have entered into a stipulation with the DOB that would have permitted Z-Best to make certain overarching (literally and figuratively) changes; I refer, for example, to the building of a massive brick or brick-like enclosure that essentially would have turned Z-Best’s entire operation into an indoor one. Second, Z-Best recently made two modest improvements despite the existence of that stop work order, namely reducing from 5 to 3 the number of blowers typically operating at any one time (this did not contravene the stop work order) and erecting a steel gate to replace the wall that they knocked down when they began their construction work, a wall that had acted as a sound barrier (this action did contravene the stop order, but it was the right thing to do because Z-Best should never have knocked down the wall in the first place). My point here is that Z-Best should have taken these steps a long time ago instead of just recently. Third, there are other unilateral steps Z-Best could still take without running afoul of the stop work order, such as reducing the pressure of the machines they use to wash car mats after the cars themselves have been washed: that noise alone is insufferable. We are not cutting off our noses to spite ourselves. We lived with the closed car wash business for many years and all of us much preferred that closed business to the car wash now operating in our midst/mist. Besides, all kinds of legal businesses could replace Z-Best when it closes without ever receiving a word of complaint from any of us. The only nose that needs cutting is the Pinocchio nose of this criminal enterprise. In summary, Z-Best has nobody but itself to blame for its predicament and for the shutdown to which it has exposed itself, yet it takes very little responsibity and continues to prevaricate. If you lived here, or even if you just took the time to familiarize yourself with the applicable zoning and noise laws and why it has taken so long for these laws to finally be enforced against Z-Best, you would hesitate before pontificating about a situation that you do not truly understand.

        • Jouster

          I am replying to myself to set the record straight. The above reply was originally subdivided into six paragraphs, to highlight my thought process and enable easier reading. It is the software of Sheepshead Bites that turned my intended formatting into one huge, ungainly paragraph, including even the collision of sentences that had originally been parts of separate paragraphs.

          • Arthur Borko

            Bravo sir, Bravo. Your post was excellent and I wish we could see far more like it in the future. It was almost like an interview. It just goes to show that we really need to streamline and make government more efficient, instead of the bloated corpse that it’s become.

            I hope everything works out in the end for you guys and one way or another that you get your quiet.

          • Jouster

            Thanks very much, Arthur. Your observations, and the moral support they reflect, are greatly appreciated. There are precious few individuals who have the good sense to be influenced by argument, no matter how logical and fact-based, and the fact that you are one of those individuals speaks very well of you. If I were wearing a hat, as you are in your photo, I would tip it towards you, by way of acknowledging that you are a mensch!

        • Alex

          Jouster. The car Wash is illegally operating till they get a variance. Soundproofing the building will not help much as the front and back part of the building is open and noise will travel from the open spaces.  

          • Jouster

            Alex, 

            As you know, I am very well aware, just as you are, that Z-Best is operating illegally. I don’t know why you reiterated this fact; there was no need to mention it, at least not to me. 

            If the back part were completely enclosed, I believe it would help. That’s why I suggested an overarching, massive brick or brick-like total enclosure of this business. Noise would still emanate from the front part, the part that faces Coney island Avenue, but I believe that noise would not be very audible to us. A complete enclosure would also reduce the terrible noise of the hand-held vacuum and mat-washing machines that the employees deploy after the cars emerge from their noisy baths. 
            As I’m sure you are also aware, even if the noise problem could be solved, which I very much doubt, Z-Best would still generate irremediable safety concerns for pedestrians and motorists. So this place should never get a variance no matter what. 

            I am very glad that there are people out there, like yourself, who understand what’s going on! 

          • Guest

            Safety concerns what safety concerns u flippin retart look how many car washes are on coney cleaning the cars on the sidewalk do me a dam favor none of u people know what the hell ur talking about safety and the law I myself went there this week and went behind the block where it is and I didn’t hear shit wen I walk into 7 11 I don’t hear shit so don’t u dare sit there u alex and jouster have no clue what ur talking about ur probably just one pissed off mobster that got played and don’t want this buisness here and don’t want these people to do good if it wasn’t for these people nobody wud have a normal car wash look at hi teck under the bridge people make illegal turns just to get to them and cause accidents that’s a bigger issue then these people look at the car on avenue n and coney parking the cars to clean in between the street and sidewalk nobody can walk they need to go thru past to cars to cross u have people turning in into the car wash from the yellow middle line causing accidents do me a favor they’re are far more safety concerns for other buisnesses on coney island I live near a fire dept am I gonna go scream at the dept for making noise in middle of the night waking up my kids cuz of the sirens all day and night nooooo cuz I had the well being of knowing I’m gna live near this so take ur ears and shove it right up there end of story nobody wants this guy here stop the arguing about all the legal crap cuz its all full of crap

          • Alex

            Rusell, if everything is legal, what are you worried about? NYC said its illegal, DOB said its illegal. Why did DOB and DEP give violations if everything is legal? 

  • Alex

    News 12 report. Noise or no noise. The business is operating illegally. NYC should close this business yesterday.  
    http://www.news12.com/articleDetail.jsp?articleId=328082&position=1&news_type=news 

  • Zbest supporter

    Z best car was and is better I. Cleaning vehicles then any other car wash in Brooklyn all these stupid Russians that feel they lost costumes are not cause z best took costumes away but because u pay to get a car wash and u get the job done I have washed my car in every car wash along Coney Island avenue and I cannot lie zbest is one of zbest I don’t need to tell them how or were to wipe my car at other places I literally had to go in a second time cause the wash was horrible and the bullshit about neighbors there was a car wash there for years then it closed for years till zbest came and about commercial area that whole area is commercial even 7 11 was always so busy. Zbest needs to compromize with the neighbors free car washes for them but in all honesty I think it’s the Russian car washes that are near by who can’t stand to watch how others are making money they don’t even want to think ge maybe we are doing a shitty job I would get a petition and have everyone who agrees with me to sign to get zbest open and running I will even take a day to put a table I front of zbest news cameras and everything else to reopen the car wash who can start this process for me who is willing to help

    • levp

      “all these stupid Russians that feel they lost costumes are not cause z best took costumes away
      So are those Russians a part of a strip show, or is z best robbing them? ‘Cause I would be totally down with the former…

      • Zbest supporter

        No no one took costumes people went to a new car was called Zbest they liked it and returned because they actually did there job hitek and Oakley every time I would go there those faces like u owe them something shit I come to u don’t look at me like I owe u something it was always a pleasure to see everyone at Zbest car wash always greeted smiles and while u wait coffee at 7 11