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CB 11 approves CVS variance in Douglaston

Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece leads the group's first meeting back in Bayside after a summer hiatus. Photo by Phil Corso
TimesLedger Newspapers

A CVS Pharmacy in Douglaston saw its variance renewed, allowing the drugstore to continue to operate in a residential zone among a series of other actions at the September meeting of Community Board 11 Monday.

The board held its first meeting since its summer hiatus at MS 158 in Bayside and approved several variances during a public hearing for a local massage parlor, auto repair store and CVS.

Of the variance approvals, the board permitted Massage Envy to operate a physical culture establishment, at 38-03 Bell Blvd., with specialized service for injured patients; Bayside’s Prela Auto Repair, at 42-42 Francis Lewis Blvd., to continue as an auto repair shop; and Douglaston’s CVS to continue operating as a commercial location in a residential zone at 242-254 Northern Blvd.

Because it is located in a residential zone, the CVS in Douglaston must have the community board grant it a variance so the the drugstore can operate as a commercial establishment.

An influx of stray cats near one Bayside community made for one neighbor to stand up at the CB 11 meeting and call for help.

As part of the monthly meeting’s public participation section, Bayside middle school teacher Maria Finn said an unsightly problem posed as a potential health hazard.

“I’m not a cat hater,” Finn said as she explained how neighbors who feed stray cats in the area may contribute to an ongoing buildup of feline fecal matter and flies around her property. “We cannot see our yards destroyed and our health compromised.”

Finn was not alone as neighbors stood up in agreement that homes near Bayside High School were among those affected. The teacher said she had been reaching out to elected officials in the area and has not yet achieved any tangible results.

Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said the board would continue looking into the matter to address the growing concern.

In his monthly address, 111th Precinct Commanding Officer Jason Huerta said overall crime was down by more than 20 percent as of Sept. 9. Of the seven major crime categories, Huerta said the only one to see a jump in numbers was burglary, which increased from 13 to 22 incidents when compared to the same 28-day period last year. One of the more common forms of theft, he said, came through window entries in the area.

Other community discussions at the meeting revolved around updates from the summer, including an ongoing push to address growing flight noise coming out of LaGuardia Airport in northeast Queens. To galvanize community efforts to combat the flight noise, CB 11 said some locals organized a meeting scheduled for Sept. 19 in the Terrace Diner in Bay Terrace at 7:30 p.m. to coordinate a resistance effort.

In the public participation section of the meeting, retired Bayside businessman Jack Oshier took the floor to report on the possible relocation of the Bayside post office and raise awareness over what he said has become an out-of-control sanitation issue along Bell Boulevard.

“The post office is not going anywhere this year,” Oshier told the crowd, attributing his assertions to others involved in the discussion of a possible closure of the Bell Boulevard center. “They may look into finding a sub-station on Bell Boulevard, but they will probably stay at least through the winter.”

Oshier also said he and neighbors have noticed an ongoing stench along Bell Boulevard, often due to a grease buildup outside area restaurants.

“If business is that busy, get a power washer,” Oshier said.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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