March 14, 2019 By Jon Cronin
Community Board 9 is calling on the City to stop the public planning process of the proposed 1,600 inmate jail in Kew Gardens before “irreparable harm” is done.
At the March 12 Community Board 9 meeting, the board voted unanimously in support of a resolution to stop the City’s planning process for the 1.9 million square foot, 30 story jail that is planned to go up next to the dormant Queens Detention Center.
The resolution is non-binding, and is merely a recommendation.
The planning process, known as the Uniformed Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), is slated to begin on March. 25 and is needed before the project can move forward. The land needs to be re-zoned in order for a building of such scale to go up and for the street to be de-mapped that runs between borough hall and the municipal parking lot.
The board asked that it be stopped before the seven-month ULURP process begins.
In the resolution, the board said that there has been no community input in forming the plan and that it “will quite simply overwhelm and destroy the small historic residential neighborhood of Kew Gardens, and also adversely affect the adjacent community of Briarwood.”
The resolution also accuses the City of providing mistruths about the level of community engagement, and its claims that meetings were held.
“Such meetings never took place, were never advertised, never sent to the Community Board nor to any of the existing civic groups in Kew Gardens nor to the other affected community, Briarwood.”
The resolution comes just a few days after Borough President Melinda Katz called on the mayor to restart the development process, citing a lack of community input.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, however, has yet to change her pro-stance on the proposal.