As Maspeth residents have been busy fighting a proposed homeless shelter in the neighborhood, Glendale activists continue their three-year-long battle to stop a transitional shelter at a defunct Cooper Avenue factory.
With all the news swirling around the proposed homeless shelter at the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth, the Glendale Property Owners Association (GPOA) updated the community on Thursday night regarding the planned shelter for families at 78-16 Cooper Ave.
The last word on the Glendale homeless shelter was that a judge denied the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition Article 78 lawsuit that claimed the environmental assessment conducted at the proposed site was flawed in its findings and incomplete in its studies. A judge later denied the coalition’s appeal.
“While we are disappointed in the judge’s ruling to date, please keep in mind the Article 78 and the appeal did delay the shelter opening as it was originally planned to be in operation in 2014,” said Brian Dooley, president of the GPOA, during their joint meeting with the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) on Sept. 8 at St. Pancras in Glendale. “The delay created by the Article 78 and appeal allowed time to explore other options.”
During that time, the coalition met with an architect who is very familiar with the New York City zoning laws and Department of Buildings (DOB) regulations and requirements to view the proposed shelter plans.
As a result of the architect’s findings, the coalition has filed several challenges and complaints with DOB for noncompliance with building codes and zoning. Though DOB has not addressed these challenges as of yet, if they approve the plans for the building, the coalition will bring the issues up with the Board of Standards and Appeals, Dooley announced.
“Please know that the members of the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition are continually monitoring the situation at the proposed Glendale site, and continue to research and explore other alternatives to stop the shelter from coming to fruition,” Dooley told those in attendance.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo expressed his gratitude to the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition for fighting against the Cooper Avenue site and for showing DHS that Glendale is just not a good site for a homeless shelter. He also had a warning for the people of Glendale and the surrounding communities.
“If you live near a hotel or a motel, be afraid because that’s what this mayor is targeting,” Addabbo said. “He is targeting, in my opinion, Community Board 5, he’s targeting Queens, he’s targeting hotels and motels in the area.”
It was revealed later that night that the owner of the Holiday Inn Express on 55th Avenue in Maspeth, where the city planned to house 220 homeless adults, had backed out of the deal to convert his hotel into a homeless shelter.