The regular monthly meeting was the first without Sally Martino-Fisher, its district manager, who resigned earlier this month amid allegations that she lived outside of the city. CB 13 also convened last week for a special meeting to address infighting among board members.With Deputy Borough President Karen Koslowitz and Alex Rosa, the chief of staff to Borough President Helen Marshall, observing the board at Monday's meeting, CB 13 members were on their best behavior. The board struck down a proposed group home to be built at 70-25 267th St. in the Royal Ranch section of Floral Park after claiming that CB 13 is oversaturated with group homes.The group home, proposed for the site of a two-family building that would be converted to a one-family with six bedrooms, would house six teenagers with developmental disabilities and autism.Before the board vote, Rhonda Carter, the president of the Royal Ranch Association, said the civic voted on the group home Jan. 16 and opposed it 27-4 in with seven abstentions.John Flaherty from the city chapter of the Association for Help of Retarded Children, the non-profit interested in building the home, said the house "is intended to be a permanent home" for the six teens Ð all male Ð and noted that they are not mentally ill nor do they have problems with drugs or the law.He said the boys would attend an AHRC school and the home would have employees who work in shifts and will not live in the house.A contract was signed between AHRC and the owner of the building, Flaherty said, although the non-profit has not yet bought the house.CB 13 member Seymour Finkelstein said the area covered by the board is "oversaturated" and that CB 13 should not approve any other group homes "until we get equal treatment."A Royal Ranch resident said she researched other locations where the group home could be set up after an AHRC representative said the Royal Ranch property being considered is worth $870,000."For $870,000, I guarantee you you could've bought two (properties) in better locations," the resident said.CB 13 voted against the home 11-17 with five abstentions.The board also gave its approval to a special permit to build a new Glen Oaks library."The old library is 52 years old," said Don Weston of the Queens Borough Public Library, noting that the existing branch also does not have enough space to implement programs.He said the new building would be 18,000 square feet, compared to 10,000 square feet in the current library.The special permit is needed because the floor-area ratio Ð or the percentage of lot space to be built on Ð would have to be expanded from 0.5 to 0.82, Weston said.The board approved of the permit, which would be given by City Planning, 32-0 with one abstention.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz
©2008 Community News Group
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