Bay Terrace belongs in CB 11: Civic leader

Bay Terrace belongs in CB 11: Civic leader
By Connor Adams Sheets

Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance and a member of Community Board 7, riled some feathers last week by suggesting that his slice of the Bayside area be removed from the board’s coverage area.

The 200-acre section of northeast Queens between 26th Avenue and Fort Totten was originally considered part of Bayside, which is covered by CB 11, but it has long been a part of CB 7 despite its being far closer to Bayside and Little Neck than CB 7’s hub in Flushing. Bay Terrace is also near Whitestone, which is a part of CB 7.

CB 7 covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, Murray Hill and Bay Terrace, while CB 11 includes Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Hollis Hills and Oakland Gardens. The two boards share Auburndale.

Schreiber contends that CB 11 is a better fit for his community than CB 7, where much of the board’s efforts are focused on the dense urban area of downtown Flushing while most of the communities served by CB 11 are more like Bay Terrace.

“If you look at a map of the district, we really don’t fit,” he said in an interview Monday. “It’s not a criticism per se of CB 7. I think it’s a wonderful community board. I love the areas there, the diversity of those communities and the people who make up the board, but down to the services and where we think we’d be best served, we think we’d be best served in CB 11.”

He is also president of the Bay Terrace Cooperative Section I.

At the Oct. 25 CB 7 meeting, Schreiber advocated for his community to be removed from the board’s boundaries and transferred to CB 11. This would mean Bay Terrace would be moved from the 109th Precinct on Union Street in downtown Flushing to the 111th Precinct on Northern Boulevard in Flushing. For example, PS 169 in Bay Terrace is 1.9 miles from the 111th Precinct and 3.8 miles from the 109th Precinct to the school.

“If you look at the area that the 109th takes in and all the resources they have to dedicate to areas like Flushing and College Point and other crime areas, we’d probably be much better off and receive better service if we were served by the 111th Precinct, which is right there on Northern Boulevard,” Schreiber said. “So many of the 109th’s resources are dedicated to downtown Flushing, and I understand that, they need that, but sometimes we’re left out of the mix.”

His recommendation caused a stir among other CB 7 members, however, including Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian, who said the idea was a valid one but took exception to the way it was presented to the board.

Before the meeting began, Schreiber asked for the agenda to insert an item saying that the board would be discussing a Bay Terrace move. When the document was printed, it read “Community Board 7 is wrong for Bay Terrace,” a wording Apelian resents.

“It definitely had a tone that he doesn’t like Community Board 7. I take exception to that and I continue to take exception to that,” Apelian said. “Community Board 7 has diligently supported the members of Bay Terrace just like the members of any other community in CB 7, and we have been staunch supporters of all the issues and concerns they have brought before the board. I don’t think we’ve misserved him, I think he’s gotten excellent service. If he wants a positive change, it should have been stated that way and instead he did it as a negative attack against the board.”

Schreiber said he did not intend to cause any offense, but that he and other community members are hoping to gather thousands of petition signatures supporting the Bay Terrace move.

Two sources familiar with community boards said it is unlikely such a move would happen because both CBs 7 and 11 are nearing their mandated maximum populations of 250,000 people each.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.