Fresh Meadows residents rail against large daycare center coming to the neighborhood

Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS

Some Fresh Meadows residents are saying “no way” to a proposed daycare center in their residential neighborhood.

Mike Agnello and Bill Anello, who each live in homes blocks away from the site, first heard about the proposed daycare about three years ago when two residences at 172nd Street and 67th Avenue were purchased and knocked down.

Located just a block away from P.S. 173 in a residential area, the Great Sunshine Daycare will reportedly serve 250 to 290 children, Agnello said. The building is being built as-of-right.


The two residents were immediately concerned about the impact the center would have on the already-problematic traffic conditions at the site. During student drop-off and dismissal times, the 67th Avenue corridor by the school gets backed up for blocks in both directions.

Under current conditions, certain parents double and even triple park along the stretch, while other cars drive around the vehicles onto the opposite lane to get around the congestion, creating dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians. Anello fears the daycare center will exacerbate the issue.


Anello stated that the area already has several operating day care facilities. He recently voiced his opposition to the incoming business at the September Community Board 8 meeting.

Upon contacting state Senator Tony Avella with his concerns, Agnello met with the lawmaker and the reported owner of the building, Michael Tang, in March to discuss the plans.

Earlier this month, Councilman Rory Lancman told Anello he would contact the city’s Department of Transportation to request a traffic study for the 67th Avenue corridor. Lancman, Congresswoman Grace Meng, state Senator Toby Stavisky and Assemblyman Nily Rozic have since co-written a letter to the city agency, which the agency received.

A DOT spokesperson said the agency will evaluate the site for potential safety enhancements “for all road users.”

“Currently, there are two speed humps installed in front of P.S. 173 on 67th Avenue,” the spokesperson continued.

Lancman also recently forwarded a letter written by a resident outlining zoning resolution concerns to the city’s Department of Buildings. His office is expecting a response.

According to postings on the construction fencing, the project is anticipated to be completed this winter. Agnello and Anello are skeptical: the lot remains empty and the last time they saw construction workers on-site was in the spring. There is also over $20,000 owed in Environmental Control Board violations on the property, according to the Department of Buildings website.

Signage at the site also feature various handwritten scrawlings, including “No way,” “Stop this before it’s too late” and “Sign the petition.”


Put together and circulated by Anello, the petition against the proposed daycare center currently has approximately 380 signatures, he told QNS. He and Agnello continue to meet with a small committee of residents to determine future action.




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