Tag Archives: community board

Deadline to join or continue on Queens community boards approaches

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Civic-minded Queens residents looking to shape their neighborhoods have until this Friday to apply to join one of the borough’s 14 community boards.

Borough President Melinda Katz has extended the deadline for those applying to be a new or returning community board member to Feb. 7, due to a snowier-than-usual January.

Community boards, which have up to 50 sitting members, advise city agencies on zoning, land use and community issues. The eyes and ears of the neighborhoods also make city budget and state liquor licensing recommendations.

“They play a significant role in helping city government address the needs of its residents,” Katz said. “Service on a community board is a great way to contribute to the well-being and quality of life of your neighborhood.”

Board members, appointed by the borough president or nominated by their district’s councilmember, serve for two years. The new term begins April 1.

Applications are available here. For more information, call 718-286-2900.

For a list of Queens community boards, click here.



Board votes for Ridgewood industrial zone

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Rosa Kim


Heavy-duty businesses could be coming to part of Ridgewood.

Community Board (CB) 5 voted almost unanimously to turn one area in the neighborhood into an Industrial Business Zone (IBZ) at the organization’s monthly meeting on July 10.

The board voted 29-1 after its Zoning and Land Use Committee suggested it will foster job creation.

“It’s essentially an attempt to preserve and attract manufacturing into that section in Ridgewood,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of CB 5. “Many of us believe New York City in so many cases has not promoted manufacturing enough. And this is an opportunity to do that locally.”

The new IBZ is in an area south of Myrtle Avenue known as SOMA. Its borders are Irving Avenue, Hancock Street and Cypress Avenue.

If the area joins the city’s 16 other IBZs, including five in Queens, it could gain a number of benefits.

The city provides a $1,000 tax credit per employee and other benefits to companies in the zones, helping attract new businesses from other areas.

“Manufacturers in Hunters Point and Maspeth are helped for example,” said Walter Sanchez, chair of the board’s Zoning and Land Use Committee. “They would be more likely to get contracts to build light bulbs” compared to Ridgewood.

Opponents of the proposal say Ridgewood is not right for an IBZ.

Andrew Poma, whose family has owned businesses in the neighborhood for three generations, is afraid the IBZ would make the area more expensive and force him to sell his businesses to make way for manufacturing firms.

“We want to stay in the area,” he said. “We’re not interested in selling our properties to the highest bidder. We want to make use of our properties and keep them in the family.”

Stephanie Eisenberg shared her experience as a building owner in the Williamsburg, Brooklyn IBZ.

“It is in a residential neighborhood,” she said. “It’s hard for people to get trucks in the neighborhood. And there are groups that don’t like the trucks.”

Eisenberg suggested that the area instead be used as a mixed zone to allow property owners to keep manufacturing space on bottom floors and build up extra stories for residential usage.

CB 5 Chair Vincent Arcuri said more apartments will create a need for more police officers, schools and fire and sanitation personnel, which in turn will expand the need for jobs.



Top headlines from around the web

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Top headlines from around the web

Hurricane Sandy’s fury is long gone, but in Rockaways a ‘war for survival’ rages on
More than 750 Queens residents and 50 clergy, brought together by the Queens Congregations United for Action, held a community meeting last Monday during which they urged local elected officials to call on Mayor Bloomberg to improve cleanup efforts in Rockaway Beach, Far Rockaway and Inwood. Read more: Daily News

Trey Songz arrested for assaulting woman in Queens strip club
Hip-hop artist Trey Songz tried to throw money at a problem at a Queens strip club — and got busted on an assault rap. Read more: Daily News

Exiting pols lavish raises on staffers
It pays to lose.
Lame-duck state legislators showered loyal staffers with fat raises after their defeats, a Post analysis of state-payroll records found. Read more: New York Post

New Orleans Mayor Brings Cajun Food, Advice To The Rockaways
As the city turns to rebuilding after Sandy, the mayor of New Orleans paid a visit to the Rockaways to survey the damage and share advice and some New Orleans food and flare. Read more: NY1

Mobile Disaster Relief Center Launched In Rockaways
The Queens Borough President’s office launched a Mobile Disaster Relief Center for Sandy victims. Read more: NY1

MTA set to roll out bus route changes

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Microsoft PowerPoint - Woodhaven Blvd Route Changes presentation

Commuters relying on bus service may be “en route” for some changes.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that the Q21 and Q52 busses will undergo several service alterations, beginning on Sunday, July 1.

A spokesperson from the MTA claimed these changes are part of the agency’s efforts to renew and improve service in response to changing ridership and market conditions within funding restraints, adding that these particular alterations reflect the continuing growth of longer-distance, limited-stop ridership on Cross Bay Boulevard,

Woodhaven Boulevard and the new residential development in Arverne.

The Q21 will be shortened, operating as far south as 164th Avenue and 92nd Street near Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach and make local stops only between Howard Beach and Elmhurst. Hours of operation and frequency will remain the same as the current Q21 bus, as will service between Lindenwood and northern destinations.
Travelers aiming for Broad Channel and the Rockaway peninsula will be required to transfer to either the Q52 or the Q53.

Due to local roadway layout, customers heading northbound on Cross Bay Boulevard between 160th Avenue and 164th Avenue will need to board a Q52 or Q53 at 163rd

Avenue, take a southbound Q21 around the loop or a northbound Q21 at 160th Avenue and 92nd Street.

The line currently known as the part-time Q21 Limited will be renamed the Q52, continuing to operate full time on the same schedule as the current Q21 and using the same bus stops. Two new limited stops will also be added to this route at Cross Bay Boulevard and 163rd Avenue in Howard Beach and Cross Bay Boulevard and 5th Road in Broad Channel. This course will only see limited-stop access to and from the Rockaways.

The MTA alleged that transportation to the Rockaway peninsula would be greatly improved, including longer-distance service provided by full-time, limited-stop service.

Dan Mundy, Jr., President of the Broad Channel Civic Association, fears bus route alterations will cause delays and be detrimental to those travelling northbound.
“[These changes] will create a worse commute for people with the worst commute,” said Mundy. “We’re getting the short end of the deal here in terms of adequate service.”

Mundy alleged that the MTA had yet to reach out to the residents of both Far Rockaway and Broad Channel.

Betty Braton, Community Board 10 chair, insisted that these bus changes would not affect the people of Howard Beach. Braton added that the MTA also discussed the idea of possibly altering the Q41 bus line at the Board’s May 3 meeting, but they had not set concrete plans.

To get more information about your bus route and how it may be changing, check mta.info or call 5-1-1.