Two Community Boards, 7& 11 hold meetings on same night

A late announcement that Community Board 7 would be voting on “The Fort Totten Master Plan” brought an overflow crowd to its monthly meeting at Union Plaza Care Center in Flushing.
The first and least contentious item on the agenda Monday, June 11 was the board’s unanimous support for the proposed renaming of 45th Avenue between Kissena Boulevard and Colden Street as “Corporal Julian Alberto Ramon Avenue.”
Ramon was a young Marine who grew up on the block and was killed in Iraq. His 16-year-old brother David addressed the meeting on behalf of himself and his parents Julio and Yolanda, who tearfully acknowledged the standing ovation they received after the measure passed with little discussion.
The mood quickly changed when the board soundly rejected an application to put a day-care center on an industrial-zoned property in Whitestone, by a vote of 36 to 4.
Speakers assailed the developer, Sullivan Mountain, LLC for the plan, citing traffic concerns.
The board then focused their attention on Janice Melnick and Helen Ogrinz from the Parks Department who presented conceptual plans for the conversion of Fort Totten from a largely abandoned military base to environmental and historic areas with public and municipal use.
There are 21 abandoned buildings containing asbestos sitting in a landmarked area of the fort. After much discussion the board finally voted, 32 to 1, to support the Parks Department making application to the city Landmarks Commission to remove the asbestos in all 21 buildings and then demolish 19 of the buildings.
The final item on the agenda was a “Protection for Private Trees” resolution calling for a law requiring a permit before anyone could cut down a tree on their own property, if it is larger than 12 inches in diameter. After some consideration and revision, that measure passed, 30 to 2.
Meanwhile, further east, Community Board 11 held a meeting on the second, rather than the first Monday of the month, at Middle School 158 on Oceania Street in Bayside.
Board members roundly defeated an application to build four semi-attached homes near the intersection of 199th Street and 47th Avenue, with 33 votes against, only one for, one abstention, and two members voting “present” because of a potential conflict of interest as required by city rules.
Next, the board “tabled” a resolution in opposition to Mayor Bloomberg’s “congestion pricing” plan, which means the board will not even consider rendering an opinion on the tax plan which, if implemented will squeeze money from commuters, many who live in the area, until at least September.

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