Community Board 8 denies approval for day-care project

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Community Board 8 voted against the advice of its Zoning Committee and disapproved of a variance for a Fresh Meadows plan to build a daycare center.

Two days before the CB 8 meeting June 15, the Zoning Committee voted 6-1 in favor of the variance, with Zoning Committee Chairman Steve Konigsberg casting the lone “no” vote.

Konigsberg said he voted against the plan because the developer of the property has yet to pay up to $5,000 in fines related to construction on the lot and he believes the five-year lease for the center is too long.

CB 8 originally voted in favor of a variance for the property, at 70-44/52 Kissena Blvd., but the developer sought another change, which included minor alterations to the exterior facade of the building and its interior layout so he could build a daycare center.

The CB 8 voted 15-18 against the variance. The developer did not participate in the discussion.´╗┐

The board had also planned on voting to support a letter requiring all city parking permits to be designed with barcodes to prevent fraud, but CB 8 found out there is legislation pending to put holograms on the placards, which would make the barcode suggestion moot.

Capt. Mike Coyle, commanding officer of the 107th Precinct, said the precinct ranked eighth-best in the city in terms of number of crimes´╗┐.

Coyle said there was a shooting last week in Pomonok, but a suspect was apprehended just two days later and was being held on $250,000 bail.

City Councilmen James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) and Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) also paid a visit to the board to present a city proclamation to CB 8 Second Vice Chairwoman Martha Taylor, who recently retired after being a longtime employee of the city comptroller’s office.

“Her life story reads like a major motion picture,” Gennaro said in presenting Taylor with the proclamation.

The board also heard from Carlisle Towery, president of the Greater Jamaica Development Corp., and Andrew Manshel, the group’s executive vice president.

Towery said the corporation’s mission “is to really build old downtown,” noting the area lost all three of its department stores in the 1970s.

But Manshel said downtown Jamaica is seeing a resurgence.

“You can actually now go to Jamaica and go to the multiplex and eat at the Applebee’s,” he said. “There’s lots of reasons to visit downtown Jamaica.”

Manshel said there is interest in redevelopment around the Long Island Rail Road station, noting that several hotels may be built near the transit hub.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 10:53 am, October 12, 2011
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