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Copyright Bayswater Civic Association 2015, 16, 19, 20

Peninsula Hospital Site Redevelopment

Project Documents:


 Some quick questions on the plans for the site (no particular order):


Some additional points, primarily by Glenn.

As a Life Long Rockaway resident I am very concerned about the Arker Companies Proposed LARGE SCALE OVERDEVELOPEMT on the old Peninsula Hospital Site.


Under CURRENT zoning the Builder can "as of right" build a little over 568 units of housing and is looking to get the area rezoned so they can cram in  2,200 units.


This proposed Affordable Housing Development would be 17 BUILDINGS up to 19 STORIES HIGH that will consist of 2,200 dwelling units of which 1,910 will be Affordable Housing with MAXIMUM incomes of ONLY up to 80% of Area Medium Income (AMI). 


The proposal will have over 6,500 NEW RESIDENTS  and  parking for ONLY 424 Parking Spaces which is less than 20% .  ALL of this will be on ONLY 9.34 Acres of Land.


To get the approval of the rezoning the builder MUST go through the ULURP Process which will bring it before the local Community Board, Borough President, City Planning Commission then the City Council.  


Change, Development and Growth for the better are always a part of life and should be a part of any neighborhood.  We should NEVER oppose change just to oppose of it.  We should oppose change that will NOTbenefit our community and  that would have a DRASTIC NEGATIVE EFFECT on the quality of life of ALL Current and Future Residents of the Rockaways.


This will become by far the most densely populated portion of the peninsula with the Ocean Bay Houses, Nordec Coop, B41 St Houses, Arverne View in close proximately.  The Idea of 6,500 new residents is  going to put a huge strain on the area's CURRENT infrastructure and resources as well as to any PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS.  The density is similar to midtown Manhattan and a narrow sliver of the Bronx.  We are not Long Island City, We are not Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, or Williamsburg.


Where will the nearly 2,000 school aged children go to school??   They don’t say they will build one for the new residents.  Theyll consider it.  Residents of Arverne by the Sea are still waiting for a promised new school for over a decade, and there is not even a shovel in the ground as of yet.  The two area schools are already crowded and perform below average.


Even if they do PROMISE to build a school, how long will it take to get done??  

how many seats will it have ??  And what about middle schools and high schools?


Other than greed of builders or politicians vision to destroy the quality of life of Rockaway residents as they did before, why would they build so many units on a such small piece of land, in an isolated quiet beach community that lacks jobs, has poor transportation options with the longest commute times in NYC  in an area where the public beaches are not even open?

We all know rents have jumped throughout the city and there is a need for affordable housing throughout the city.  However, The Rockaways has always born the brunt of this type of housing  and to make this large-scale development not better balanced as far as residents’ income is NOT the answer.

Has the city not learned from past failures that it is very important to have a range of a mixed income, affordability and market rate housing to balance out incomes and ensure the neighborhood becomes viable to live, work and play?

 According to a report by the New York City Planning Commission from November 3, 2003/Calendar No. 2 C 030509 HUQ,  half of the subsidized housing in Queens was located on the Rockaway Peninsula and construction of additional low and moderate-income housing in Arverne would only increase the proportion.   This was before the Downtown Far Rockaway rezoning!

 

An additional report put out in April 2016 by the Mayor’s office of Environmental Remediation included the following facts apply to the Rockaways:

 According the city’s own studies and facts this section of the Rockaways where this Large-Scale Development is planned is already one of the poorest in the city and to continue to follow past failures by bringing more people to an isolated peninsula which lacks the infrastructure, services and jobs is NOT the answer. 

There is a need for real mixed housing and this plan is NOT it!  

We need to ensure residents have safe affordable places to live as well as residents will have disposable income to support the retail that is planned as part of the development.  

To put 100% affordable housing in an area with very low Area Median Income (AMI) is NOT appropriate for a community that is desperate need of  true mix of affordable housing with higher AMI amounts and market rate housing.


 The Environmental Assessment Statement states there is a  high concentration of public and publicly subsidized housing and long-term care facilities  present in the surrounding area, so why would they bring so much more that is geared towards lower income??


Below is a list of the housing they are looking to build

Option 1: 25% of the residential floor area shall be provided as housing affordable to households at an average of 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), with no unit targeted at a level exceeding 130% AMI, or 

 

Option 2: 30% of the residential floor area shall be provided as housing affordable to households at an average of 80% AMI, with no unit targeted at a level exceeding 130% AMI. It is anticipated that the Project Site would be designated under MIH Option 1.


Why not option 2 or even another option that will better balance out incomes? 


When I grew up there were times I lived in a room with my mother and shared a bathroom in the hall way with other residents.  I have also been financially supporting my mother for 25 years now and have been fortunate enough to be able to care for her.  So I know first hand that not everyone is blessed to be able to afford an expensive apartments and there is a need for affordable housing and we should NOT  be against having affordable housing in our community however IT NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT.


NYC Planning even stated there is a potential for significant adverse impacts because of the plan, thus requiring that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) needing to be prepared.


I have been contacting MANY community leaders throughout the entire peninsula from East to West and Broach Channel as this is something that affects US ALL and the ONLY way to change what is being opposed is to be united.