Community Board 7 gave the NYPD its blessing Monday night to sign a 20-year lease on a tow pound previously under a temporary agreement to operate at 31-22 College Point Blvd.
After hearing both sides of the debate, the board voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the tow pound stay, with 29 votes supporting the long-term arrangement and 14 votes against.
The tow pound appeared on the lot in 2013 to the chagrin of College Point residents, who feared that the facility would increase traffic and weaken streets already riddled with potholes and deteriorating roads. The area also hosts a new police training academy which opened in January.
With an average of 40 to 50 cars towed into the facility daily, the tow pound is estimated to generate additional traffic of around 60 cars per day including cars towed and employee vehicles. The location has on-site parking for employees, and can accommodate 157 cars.
Despite area residents’ initial reservations, police say they have not received any complaints in the two years of the tow pound’s operation in College Point.
Owners Jerry and George Filippidis, brothers who are both residents of the area, assured board members that they were trying to consider the good of the neighborhood by choosing the relatively lower traffic tow pound than a big box retailer.
The area is currently zoned for retail use, so no additional approvals would be needed for a large store to occupy the building. According to Jerry Filippidis, a large retail store could generate traffic of more than 50 cars and trucks per hour coming into the site.
“I wanted to be able to look every single one of you in the eye and let you know that we made the right decision,” said Jerry Filippidis, who has lived in the community for 25 years.