Saturday, February 7, 2015

Developer wants to rip down forest for parking lot

From the Queens Courier:

A Queens developer really does want to pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

But a group of self-proclaimed tree huggers in Oakland Gardens — who know what they’ve got before it’s gone — are banding together to stop a developer’s plan to uproot hundreds of trees and shrubs from a strip of wilderness behind their homes.

The property owner, Windsor Oaks Tenants’ Corp., came to an agreement with the city in 1950 that allowed them to build co-ops in Oakland Gardens even though the co-ops broke several zoning laws, according to city records. In the agreement, Windsor Oaks agreed to not build on a strip of land they owned that separates the co-ops from several blocks of private homes.

Now, the corporation is trying to renegotiate its deal with the city that would allow them to turn the wooded land into a parking lot and a community building, according to city records.

This tree-filled divider is about 200 feet wide from north to south and more than 1,200 feet from west to wast bordered by 217th Street and Springfield Boulevard.

Along with 300 people in the neighborhood who have signed a petition, Hatzopoulos is hoping to convince the city not to allow the agreement to be made. In a request made to Community Board 11 the corporation wants to create a 98 parking-space lot with an entrance on Springfield Boulevard and a community building.

In the original agreement of 1950, the city required the corporation to not only leave the area undeveloped but to also maintain a “ landscaped appearance” and that “the planting in the area shall be suitable and shall be maintained at all times in good condition.”

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

The streets there, 75th, 220, and 74th are very wide. You could have angled parking on at least one side of the street, though you might need to make it one way. Springfield is wide enough to be two way, even knowing its a bus route, and have angled parking on the coop side of the street. The problem here isn't overdevelopment, it's not illegal conversions. A typical family might have had one car when the co-op opened. Now they have two or three.

Anonymous said...

Hang him from one of those trees before he can proceed.

Anonymous said...

It's probably a Chinese developer.

Anonymous said...

This is not about parking, though the article would have you believe so. They want to build a very large club house in the green space at 220th Street. The 98 parking spaces and garages are for the use of people using the club house.

Anonymous said...

Have the zoning codes changed?

If it is their property they should be allowed to if the zoning codes have changed. I don't think they should have to abide by a deal from 50+ years ago as long as they have permission to do it now.

I am sure the local business' and houses would prefer the increase in parking to free up other spots.

Richard Stefan said...

People need to suck it up, you knew when you bought there, it was limited parking there are express buses to Manhattan just 3-4 blocks away. Union tpk springfield 73rd ave.......do you really need so many cars?

I love my car i love to drive but i have a bus stop on the corner and a subway stop 5 blocks away....i made sure of this before renting

Anonymous said...

The only shopping strip has its own huge lot, they don't care about on street spots blocks away. The people in the single family houses have no trouble finding a place to park. Its the kind of place where trouble parking means you park two houses down because someone parked in front of your house. And you stare out the window every five minutes to try to see who's car it was.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the forested land was mandated to spare the homeowners from having multi family high rises right in their face. As there is no expiration date in this covenant why should it be renegotiated now? Have the high rises gotten any smaller in the past 65 years? Destroying the woodland to replace it with a building and parking lots will clearly have a negative impact on the private homes value, are those homeowners being offered compensation as part of this? If not, why not?

Anonymous said...

The buildings in the coop are two stories, not high rises.

Anonymous said...

We don't need parking lots dam it,
We need more affordable housing for the illegals with new Identifican card,this is racism I tell you.

Anonymous said...

"The buildings in the coop are two stories, not high rises."
Exactly, now most McMansions in north Queens are taller than two story garden apartments.

Anonymous said...

Korean developers.

Liman said...

This is the old Motor Parkway right of way... isn't this all owned by the City as parkland?

Anonymous said...

This isn't the motor parkway. Look at google satellite view, between 217th st in the west and springfield blvd in the east, north of the single family houses fronting the north side of 77th avenue, south of the garden apartment complex on 75th avenue there is a strip of trees. That's the property they are talking about. The motor parkway is south of the houses on the other side of 77th avenue.

Anonymous said...

Italians and Greeks also hate trees. Along with Orientals they are barbarians in common.

Anonymous said...

I never met a tree that a developer with money or power couldn't find a way to chop down.

Anonymous said...

http://queenscourier.com/oakland-gardens-residents-gain-support-in-bid-to-save-woodland/

The tree huggers are gaining some political muscle.

A group of Oakland Gardens residents have been building support over the last few weeks to stop a developer’s plan to break a deal made with the city by paving over hundreds of trees and shrubbery in the area for a parking lot and community building.


Now they’ve gained the support of state Senator Tony Avella.