ICCC cares about its community

TimesLedger Newspapers

An open letter from the Indian Cultural and Community Center:

First, we want to make it clear that we live here. We are also members of the community. Our officers and supporters live in Bellerose, Floral Park, Glen Oaks and Queens Village. We have raised our families here and lived in these communities for more than 40 years.

We created the ICCC, a nonprofit organized to provide the community with affordable senior housing, a community center and open space. We are not outside developers. We are doing it for everyone.

Second, we want to work with our friends and neighbors. We approached the civic associations before we filed the BSA application. We have asked them to engage in a productive dialogue and offered free or low-cost use of the community space and to help us in this project.

Instead, they have conducted a smear campaign against us and the project. In the past, some of the civic members and officers have made derogatory statements stating that “they are turning the neighborhood into a third-world country” and “how many diseases are being brought back into our schools by these foreigners?” We are all neighbors and we want to bring all people together.

Third, we have made it clear that we are building affordable senior housing and a community center. We have never made any public statement to the contrary. Our BSA application is for affordable senior housing and a community center. It is a lie to say that our “plans change daily.” The Queens Civic Congress Creedmoor Master Plan provided that our land be used for a “private light industrial/commercial facility” and even suggested that it be used for the “Bell Atlantic Repair Fleet.” Would local residents prefer to have this in their backyard?

Finally, we are seeking a variance to downzone the area and build something that was within former Borough President Claire Shulman’s Creedmoor Master Plan. Creedmoor has many senior-focused organizations such as Services Now for Adult Persons and the Father Reder Senior Apartments.

We are going to operate within the character of these groups. Our land is irregularly shaped and immediately surrounded by taller structures, including the 21-story main hospital, four- to five-story salt dome and 10-story power plant with two 18-story smokestacks. The land is also almost 10 feet below street level. We decided on the height based on minimizing the impact on the land and maximizing the amount of greenspace. We wanted the housing to be affordable and want to maximize the number of units.

We are your friends and neighbors. Let us come together.

Indian Cultural and Community Center

Bellerose

Reader Feedback

Chris from Bellerose says:
Your association is clearly trying to manipulate the system. The structures that you plan to build do not fit the character of the neighborhood. This project has been started on lies and the association continues to lie about what you plan to do. Also, your article does not mention how tall the plans are for these buildings, (nine stories). The 18 story smokestacks that you’re claiming to be higher than the structure you want to build are in the plans to be demolished. Furthermore, you have no area of egress to enter or exit the property; the only street that has access is a Bellerose side street that would create much unwanted traffic. The problem you are having to get the variance has nothing to do with ethnicity or culture. Your charm is a plan of lies and deceit.
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:08 pm
concern neighbors of this ICCC from FLORAL PARK says:
We all agree with Chris from Bellerose!!! that is the story!!!!!!!!
Iccc don't even mention the 9 story buildings... liar!! liar!!!
Dec. 3, 2011, 3:41 pm
242 St Man from Bellerose says:
In their article, the ICCC states that they approached the civic associations in the area before they filed plans with the BSA. The facts are that they met with the civics at the end on May, 2011 and filed their plans with the BSA in April, 2011.

Secondly, the Borough President's Master Plan clearly states that any new construction " to conform in scale, architecture, density and use with the surrounding community. " ( Page 20 ). The Father Reder Senior Apartments, Country Pointe Town Houses and Bernard Fineson Center all followed the Master Plan guidelines.

They also state that they are " surrounded by taller structures." The main hospital is located on the other side of Union Turnpike approximately 1/2 mile away. The power plant has been decommissioned and is scheduled to be demolished. The salt dome is actully two or maybe three stories tall.

When representatives of the ICCC visited our block to solicit signatures of support, they were told that the project would be only two stories. When the truth came out that they intended to build two nine story buildings, 30 ft from their backyards, almost all of the people signed a petition withdrawing that support.

The accusations that our community is " racist " seems to me to be the song of the desperate and cannot be further from the truth.
Dec. 4, 2011, 11:05 am
Frank T. from Bellerose says:
My conscience is killing me. I know how my friends and some of my neighbors think. They do not like the "changes" to the neighborhood. They do not like the "other" stores and "other" folks coming in.

I can't take it anymore. We live on this earth for a short time. We live in America. It is land of the free.

Instead of opening our hearts, we close our minds and we hold onto a notion of a Bellerose that was 20 years ago. We gotta change and embrace.
March 1, 2012, 1:58 pm

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