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Beep Forms Queens West Advisory Committee – QNS.com

Beep Forms Queens West Advisory Committee

A new Queens West community advisory committee set the agenda for a November 17 public hearing on plans for the development of the Long Island City and Hunters Point waterfront at a preliminary meeting on November 3.
Borough President Helen Marshall called together the committee, a group of 18 elected officials, community residents, and Queens West Development Corporation representatives, including President Alex Federbush, to address concerns about the lack of community participation in the planning and construction process.
"We have some catching up to do," said Marshall. "People felt like Queens West was just talking to them and they didnt have time to interact."
Participants decided the groups main responsibilities will be to bring information about the developers plans to the community and gather feedback.
"Smart developers want community input," said Councilmember Eric Gioia. "It cant just be a presentation, it has to be a two-way street."
Federbush assured the group he would be open to opinions submitted by the group, but also said, "Youll never make everybody happy." The Queens West representatives said some decisions that had already been made that would be difficult to alter, but that they will seek community input for the southern half of Queens West, where plans are still under design.
Some participating community members were hopeful that the formation of the advisory committee signalled a future of more fruitful, less hostile dialogue between developers and residents.
Others were more skeptical.
"I dont feel like weve gotten through to Helen Marshall yet," said City Lights resident Robert Wilkanowski, who, following the meeting, expressed frustration that developer profits were being prioritized over community concerns.
Community members made several demands on developers, including a scale model of the building plans and a fact sheet about parcel nine that would include a picture of the designs to be distributed before the public meeting.
At the November 17 public meeting at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Citigroup Building, Rockrose Development Corporation will discuss plans for their seven buildings. Avalon will present plans for their building on parcel 9. Queens West will present and answer questions about Stage II, the extension of Gantry Plaza State Park and the initiation of work on the southern half of the site, including the possible construction of the Olympic Village for 2012.
Committee members included Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, Councilmember Eric Gioia, Community Board 2 Chair Joseph Conley, Tom Paino of the Hunters Point Coalition, Terry Adams of the Hunters Point Community Development Corporation, and residents Ed Sadowski, Robert Wilkanowski, Greg Switzer, George Rheault, and Paul Camilleri.
sarah@queenscourier.com

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