Friday, April 16, 2010

Chronicle makes a suggestion

Editorial from the Queens Chronicle:

Community Board 7 approved the Flushing Commons project that will replace Municipal Parking Lot 1 on Monday night after months of debate over the mixed-use business and residential development.

The board attached several “conditions” to its approval, but as one member pointed out, those are really just a wish list, since the panel only has advisory authority, not statutory. The city can essentially do what it wants in Flushing, as elsewhere, and what the administration wants is development.

But the community, especially downtown, is getting overburdened with one project after another. Overdevelopment is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s getting hard to see how the many projects that are transforming Flushing’s skyline don’t amount to too much at once.

In addition to Flushing Commons, there are SkyView Parc, the massive condo and shopping complex going up on College Point Boulevard; the New Millenium residential project proposed for the north side of Northern Boulevard, and the recently completed Queens Crossing commercial building across the street from Muni Lot 1.

No wonder the board wants the city to do more for the community — like insist that additional parking be installed at Flushing Commons and that a school be built on Northern Boulevard. And no wonder more and more people are saying enough to the endless parade of projects.

Adding parking spaces downtown — somewhere, somehow — is crucial. The dense, bustling region may seem more and more like an eastern outpost of Manhattan as buildings and population rise together, but it’s still in Queens. Compared to the city, this is car country, and visitors and residents alike need spaces. It’s just not Times Square.

At least as important is the need for a new high school. The plan was for one to be built at the Home Depot site on College Point Boulevard when the supply store was planning to move into SkyView Parc. But that deal fell through and Home Depot is staying put, leaving more Queens students in wildly overcrowded facilities.

So let’s go beyond CB 7’s requests and make a new demand of the city: No more big projects should be allowed to go through even the early stages of approval unless the next developer who comes along sets aside at least one acre for a high school. In exchange the builder could get whatever change of zone is necessary — and they always are for projects of this nature. That would be a fair deal for all.

Yes, because all a community needs as mitigation for the grandiose developments shoved down their throats is land set aside for a high school.


Anonymous said...

Editorial is sidetracked by parking and misses the fundamental issue: Traffic. All of the developments identified within the editorial -- plus the Willets Point megadevelopment just across the river which relies on related roadways -- are going to absolutely gridlock already impassable Flushing streets. CB7 chose to overlook this when approving Flushing Commons. "I don't care about the Environmental Impact Statement," said CB7 vice-chair Chuck Apelian. Incredible.

As for the school, again the Chronicle hasn't done its homework. Per the statement of Bob Goldrich during the final CB7 Flushing Commons committee meeting, the additional school is intended to be the one yet to be built at Willets Point. But as the Willets Point project is failing to obtain the necessary approvals for major modifications to the Van Wyck Expressway, it seems more and more that a school may never be built there. It was inappropriate for CB7 to rely on such a Willets Point school in connection with Flushing Commons.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what the "New Millenium" project is? Where is it?

Anonymous said...

The "New Millennium" project is going on the northeast corner of 35th & Prince St. I believe.

Anonymous said...

We have outgrown the need for community boards if they are going to rubber stamp "yes" every project that a developer puts on the table before them.

For all other matters we can call 311.

CBs are NO LONGER really needed!

And their jerk-off vote is purely advisory anyway.

So why should the city spend tax money on staff and rent in the midst of our financial crisis?

Anonymous said...

You are all missing the point.

The circus that was put on by TDC/EDC to sell the Flushing Commons project was just one of the tent shows.

The second dog & pony show was presented by Community Bored 7.

"Long late" hours of many committee meetings...week after week...when the plot all along was to vote yes on everything!

Only those still wet behind their ears would believe that CB7 actually cares what WTF gets rammed up the ass of Fushing.

Most board members don't even live in the downtown battle zone.

And what's Pauline Chu gonna do with her newly acquired voting privileges as a new CB7 member?

Back her own Chinese developer friends...surely not anyone else we can think of?

She lied on her educational "credentials" when she ran for city council.

Who knows how far she will be willing to stretch the truth in the future.

I'll bet she's Peter Koo's pick.