A Progress Report from CM Richards

By Gail Johnson

Originally published at The Wave on January 13, 2017.

At the Jan. 10 Community Board 14 meeting, Councilman Donovan Richards began his Progress Report with a very positive tone: “It’s going to be an exciting year.”

The Central Library is on schedule for redevelopment and there will be a $3.5 million dollar expansion of the Arverne library. The Councilman invited all attendees to the ribboncutting for the 20 new storefronts upgraded on Mott Avenue — which will happen in a few weeks, no date has been set — and encouraged all to tour the area which will include a new plaza this summer. The Addabbo Health Center has received $3 million for expansion, there is a $26 million fund set aside for infrastructure upgrades and Ocean Bay has been chosen as the first Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) site in the country and will set the standard for future projects. “Far Rockaway is on the map,” said Richards.

The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process for the Downtown Far Rockaway Development will begin in a few weeks.

“If it came up for a vote in the City Council today, I wouldn’t vote for it. I am aware of your concerns, about density, height, other concerns and I will be asking hard questions of the Mayor that will benefit both the old-timers and the newcomers to the Rockaways,” said Richards.

As for Select Bus Service, which has been voted down by CB14, Richards says he supports it.

He recounted his college days and the two-hour commute to college aboard the Q52 that “is not feasible today. SBS is not about Queens Rail which needs to be expanded or the Park. I can move more residents on and off the peninsula. The resiliency and recovery projects must serve a dual purpose, to protect our Bay communities and protect against another Sandy,” concluded Richards.

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