Community Board 2 holds first in-person meeting since pandemic

Photo courtesy of Ethan Marshall.

Community Board 2 in Queens held its first in-person monthly meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, Nov. 3, at Sunnyside Community Services.

Councilwoman Julie Won took part in the meeting to outline a few topics, including redistricting and community service.

The community board members in attendance also listened to the presentations surrounding two landmark applications, both of which would take place on 46th Street. The first presentation was about the prospect of enlarging windows at 39-84 46th St. The other presentation was on the matter of adding two rear skylights to the house at 39-21 46th St.

The first application was originally part of a bigger application for the home, with all the work being approved except for the window enlargement. In this new proposal, the enlargement would result in each window being the same size. The window that would be enlarged is located at the back of the building.

The second application would allow for more light to come in to the home, specifically the attic. According to the applicant, the original motivation of the application for two new skylights was to turn the attic into a master bedroom.

According to Won, redistricting lines have been finalized. While much of it will remain intact, chunks of Astoria will shift to District 22. Won also brought up the topic of participatory budgeting, saying that her office is looking for budget delegates to help in investing around $1 million in participatory budget to the community. Additionally, Won went over recent charity drives held to aid asylum seekers and refugees.

Councilwoman Julie Won speaks during a Community Board 2 meeting at Sunnyside Community Services.(Photo by Ethan Marshall)

“We just finished distributing over 17,000 backpacks and hundreds of [items of] clothing for babies,” Won said. “We were also fortunate enough to get donations for undergarments that are brand new and we’re distributing them this week to shelters. Now we’re focusing on getting partners to donate new winter jackets or gently used winter jackets for the children and families so that everyone can stay warm this winter.”

Won also said her office is engaged in a legal partnership that offers legal assistance to those in the district who have been evicted or are in danger of eviction. Her office is hosting a housing lawyer once a week. She recommends those in need of legal advice when it comes to housing call her office at 718-383-9566 to schedule a one-on-one appointment with the housing lawyer. This aid was created in response to an uptick in eviction cases within the district.

Won said she recently co-sponsored a package of bills that she felt would bring the state closer to universal child care. She also noted that the council members recently had a hearing for language access.

The community board also discussed the types of community complaints that were most common throughout the month of October during the meeting. According to the board, the number of complaints made to them by the community trended down in October when compared to recent months. Among the more common complaints made to them were related to garbage, safety and enforcement and potholes.

Despite the fact this meeting marked the first to take place in person for Community Board 2 in over two years, there were still a number of board members absent. In an effort to discourage members from trying to participate only through Zoom, the board said members who do so will be marked as absent and wouldn’t be able to vote on motions that take place during those meetings.