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Board 11 highlights park issues

Community Board 11 laid bare its concerns and highlighted the achievements of the past year in an annual report released last week on issues that ranged from acquiring land in pristine spots such as Alley Pond Park to the completion of the Oakland Ravine Project.

While CB 11's annual report for 1999 does not rank the board's activities or needs in order of importance, District Manager Anne Marie Boranian said it does give the public an outline of the past year's work.

"It's not really meant to prioritize," Boranian said. "It's to give the public an overview of what the board has done."

The annual report calls for the preservation and rehabilitation of the district's shorelines and many parks, the continued reconstruction of local roads, and protecting zoning interests.

CB 11 covers Bayside, Auburndale, Little Neck, Douglaston, Hollis Hills and Oakland Gardens and has Alley Pond Park, Udall's Cove, Oakland Lake and Crocheron Park within its borders.

To preserve the area's green space, the report urged the city to continue to acquire privately owned properties that are in environmentally sensitive areas or border them.

"The acquisition of designated lots in the Alley Park and Udall's Cove Ravine must be completed as quickly as possible," the report said. "Pressures to develop these lands from the owners and potential developers are increasing."

In December the city Parks Department held a public hearing to acquire several lots in Udall's Cove, and in the same month CB 11 passed a proposal to rezone Little Neck Pines to protect it from development.

The report cited the Oakland Ravine Project, a multimillion-dollar proposal to alleviate flooding from inadequate storm drainage around Oakland Lake, Springfield Boulevard, 46th Avenue, and Queensborough Community College, as its No. 1 budget priority for 2001.

"Although Oakland Lake was rehabilitated to provide a more natural look several years ago," the report said, "conditions in the lake and in the ravine must be improved."

Community activist Jerry Iannece, president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association, whose neighborhood is adjacent to the regularly flooded area, said the project was recently expanded to accommodate environmental concerns.

Iannece said while the project had originally called for a second drainage outlet into Alley Pond, the new proposal envisions a drainage system that would provide seven or eight cascading pools of water. He said such a system would actually make the water going into Alley Pond cleaner.

Boranian said "the impact of that storm overflow on the quality of Oakland Lake and the Oakland Ravine make it a top priority. Hopefully, the outcome [of the project] will resolve several issues at the same time."

The report also called for the rehabilitation of Crocheron Park, the second largest park in CB 11 which sits just west of the Cross Island Parkway.

Boranian said "Crocheron Park is developing into a major requirement. It needs the attention that Alley Pond and the wetlands get."

The report also gave attention to the district's future roadway reconstruction projects.

While the largest sewer and water main reconstruction project in the area, HW 707 in southern Bayside, is progressing and on the verge of completion, other work to repair sinking streets or resurface roadways is set to begin.

One of the two main upcoming projects will replace sewer lines and resurfacing roads around 47th Avenue between Utopia Parkway and Springfield Boulevard in southern Bayside, and the other will rebuild streets in Douglaston Manor around 38th Drive in a project called HW 818.

The 38th Drive project, which will shore up roads that are sinking around sewer, water, and utility lines in Douglaston's marshy areas, is now in preliminary design, the report said.

Zoning was also an issue in the report, which stressed the area's lack of land that can be developed and mentioned the addition of three new car dealerships on Northern Boulevard.

"There are no vacant sites available for major development in this district," the report said.

The annual report also mentioned CB 11's battles against eateries seeking outdoor seating.

"We have also seen the development of two restaurant sites that operate 'cafe style,'" it said. "These facilities with open French doors and marble floors create a noise hardship on the surrounding residential communities."

To find out how to obtain a copy of the report, call CB 11 at 225-1054.

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