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Cultural Center bad for Bellerose

TimesLedger Newspapers

This is Pat Dolan’s last letter to TimesLedger Newspapers before she died Nov. 15.

The Queens Civic Congress, the umbrella coalition for more than 100 Queens civic organizations, congratulates Community Board 13 on its vote to oppose construction of two multi-story apartment buildings on the Creedmoor campus adjacent to several low-density Bellerose neighborhoods.

QCC supports services for seniors and supported development of low-rise, low-density senior housing elsewhere on the Creedmoor site. We are opposed to out-of-scale, non-contextual development that negatively affects built-out neighborhoods like Bellerose.

The Indian Cultural and Community Center’s proposal, which seeks to effectively change the existing zoning to a higher-density residential one, is clearly out of character with the nearby low-density housing and just as clearly negatively affects its nearby neighbors — with nine-story buildings less than 50 feet from many one-family, one-story homes.

Without any pubic notice or hearing, the state sold the property to the ICCC for far less than market value, an action state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating.

Queens residents should be wary of how the ICCC acquired the Creedmoor property, which is state-owned land. Creedmoor is not the only state-owned land in Queens. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, desperate for funds, owns train yards and bus depots across Queens. In the past, developers have eyed both the Sunnyside and Jamaica yards for high-density housing.

Now the ICCC’s plan goes to Borough President Helen Marshall for a hearing and her advisory opinion. QCC calls on Marshall to turn down the ICCC’s plan and instead support the Creedmoor Master Plan, which calls for responsible development that will better serve Queens and the Bellerose community.

And we call on the city Board of Standards and Appeals to reject this development, which will jeopardize a thriving community.

Patricia Dolan

President

Queens Civic Congress

Flushing

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