Friday, September 26, 2008

Springfield Gardens eyed for NYPD tow pound

Springfield Gardens and surrounding communities are up in arms over the recent revelation that the NYPD and the city’s Economic Development Corp. are eying a site there as the relocation point of New York City’s auto impound lot.

The lot, now in College Point, has to be moved to accommodate the new police academy, which is slated to be built starting in 2009.

Impound lot in Springfield Gardens?

The plan was first revealed to the community in a meeting of the Land Use Committee of Community Board 13 on Sept. 16., after a handful of residents learned of the proposal from both the NYPD and the EDC, and quickly began to rally their neighbors.

The plot in question, a 13-acre strip of undeveloped land between Rockaway Boulevard and Kennedy International Airport, is being focused on specifically because the Police Department and EDC say it’s the only area in the city that comes close to meeting the needs of the department. It stretches from the end of Farmers Boulevard all the way to Guy Brewer Boulevard, and is zoned M1, which is a downgrade from the current site — which is zoned M3. M1 allows for mixed use, residential and industrial, while M3 — the densest industrial zoning class — allows industrial developers more leeway.

After many members had said their piece, the board voted unanimously, 32-0, to reject the proposal.

A motion was also submitted to begin a letter-writing campaign to city officials in the hope of finding another location — something department representatives said they were more than open to considering.

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