New Hyde Park residents continue LIJ garage fight – QNS.com

New Hyde Park residents continue LIJ garage fight

By Alex Ginsberg

A small group of New Hyde Park residents want several conditions met before the planned construction of a new six-level parking garage can begin at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Bernie Brandt, vice president of the Lost Community Civic Association, said residents who lived in the immediate vicinity of the hospital would circulate a petition to be presented to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

Although the collection of signatures was not expected to be completed until after press time, an advance copy of the petition’s text was provided to the TimesLedger. In the petition, the community asks that the hospital control the cost of the parking, create better access to the garage and take other steps to keep the nearby neighborhood free of traffic.

The petition effort follows a decision by Community Board 13 last month to recommend approval of the garage project.

“The undersigned resident homeowners, who reside in the community on the southern border of LIJ, seek relief from any further reduction in our quality of life,” the copy reads. “By inclusion of the following contractual agreements to the applicant’s variance, we feel this can be accomplished.”

The petition is addressed to the city Board of Standards and Appeals, which will issue a final decision on the hospital’s proposed construction, but Brandt said he would present it to Marshall at a 10 a.m. meeting at Queensborough Hall in Kew Gardens Thursday.

Hospital officials did not return requests for comment.

The document demands the construction of an access road connecting the new garage to Marcus Avenue in Nassau County. Hospital officials have repeatedly told Community Board 13 that such an option is not possible because LIJ does not own the land in question.

In the document, the community also asks for additional access via 74th Avenue (currently open only to hospital employees), subsidized parking for hospital workers and long-term patients, additional parking to be secured across Lakeville Road at the I-Park complex and more bus service to the LIJ campus.

The petition further demands the creation of an advisory board including members of the community, to be consulted on all construction issues and parking fees.

Community Board 13 at its April 21 meeting included many of these demands in 10 recommendations it appended to its approval of the project, but the hospital was not required to obey them. The input of both the community board and the borough president are advisory, and the final decision rests with the Board of Standards and Appeals.

The BSA can approve or deny requests for variances as well as stipulate conditions for approval as the petitioners in this case are requesting.

Brandt said he feared that if the garage is constructed without meeting the conditions stipulated in the petition, it will do nothing to reduce the number of hospital workers and visitors who flood the residential streets of New Hyde Park north of Union Turnpike as they search for on-street parking.

Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

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