The Auburndale Improvement Association is a civic association in its 104th year that works to make the neighborhoods of Auburndale and Western Bayside great places to live for its residents. I am proud to be its first vice president and zoning and housing chairman.
Under the leadership of our president, Terri Pouymari, and our executive board, we find there are many issues to deal with in our community. We represent over 600 families in our area and as volunteers work every day toward improving our community.
We are fortunate to belong to and work with the Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization that represents over 100 civic associations in Queens. Civic associations are the spark plugs that work for positive goals and accomplishments to make our neighborhoods desirable and livable.
Currently, our organization is pressing to have Southern Auburndale rezoned to curb overdevelopment and inappropriate development. With strong support from City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside), state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose), other elected leaders and Community Boards 7 and 11, we hope this rezoning plan will be announced and enacted some time this year.
Community residents have fought for many years to achieve this goal. We will be grouped with the neighborhoods of Oakland Gardens, Hollis Hills and parts of Kissena Park Flushing under this plan.
Another issue that causes great concern is that of community facilities and their effect on residential areas. For example, a day care center is planned for a small corner lot at Francis Lewis Boulevard and 42nd Avenue. There are only two on−site parking spaces for a facility that will service at least 175 children daily. There is no place to discharge and pick them up.
There is limited parking around the site due to the presence of an elementary school across the street. There will be a windowless sub−cellar which will contain a gym for 35 little ones, according to online plans. New regulations prohibit children in a sub−cellar, from what we have been told. Our organization will monitor this concern. These were just a few of the issues facing the community and our organization with this facility.
By the way, the elementary school across the street from the new day care center is PS 130. Local children are not zoned to attend this school. They have to be bussed elsewhere. Other children are bused in to attend this school. This is another issue needing resolution.
And here is another issue. We are currently supporting our colleagues of the Station Road Civic Association in their efforts to have the jersey concrete barrier replaced at the gate of the Helms Brothers Auto Service Dealership at the intersection of Auburndale Lane and Station Road. The barrier was removed despite an agreement to keep this particular gate closed due to concerns for residents’ safety.
Trucks and other vehicles now enter and exit through this gate daily through narrow streets, many lacking any concern for the safety and well−being of people in the area. This is unacceptable and the city Department of Transportation will not listen to reason, despite intense community opposition.
These are just a few of the problems facing the Auburndale community. Similar problems are repeated throughout our city. I urge everyone to join their local civic association and work with your neighbors to insure your communities are respected so everyone can enjoy a better quality of life.
©2009 Community News Group
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