Queens Lawmakers on the Move Dec. 3, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Comrie Releases Statement on the First MTA Public Hearing on Proposed Fare and Toll Adjustments

State Senator Leroy Comrie

State Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Briarwood, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Hillcrest, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens, Laurelton, Queens Village, Rosedale, South Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans) released a statement about the MTA’s public hearings on the proposed far and toll adjustments: 

“As the MTA commences an important series of public hearings on a portion of the Proposed 2021 Budget with respect to fare and toll adjustments, I want to assure the commuting public that the State Senate will hold virtual roundtables and public hearings in the next successive months to ensure that the voice of all stakeholders is not only acknowledged and heard, but acted upon and implemented.

Through the leadership of the Legislature in 2019-20, the MTA has already been given a comprehensive set of budgetary and policy tools to not only help the agency survive, but also grow. The Senate will continue to assiduously monitor, oversee and partner with the MTA to effectively serve the commuting public from Poughkeepsie and Port Jervis to Jamaica and Montauk.

I truly believe that a crisis will never be solved with Band-Aids, cuts, conventional thinking or shared pain. For example, if ridership is down, why not reduce fare to increase demand? The crisis we face is a call for innovation, redesign, and dynamic thinking. It is time to consider what a 21st century commute should look like, not simply because of pandemic conditions, but because the conditions of our system, and the needs of the public, demand it.”

AOC Expands Lead After Election Certification

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside, parts of the Bronx) lead in her first reelection campaign was expanded with the completion of the absentee ballot count by the Board of Elections in the New York’s 14th Congressional District nearly a month after the general election. 

Ocasio-Cortez garnered 152,661 votes out of the 213,340 recorded ballots or 71.6 percent of the votes in the country’s second most expensive House race of 2020. 

BP Richards Holds Land Use Hearing

City Council Member Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards will hold a regular Public Hearing on Land Use on Thursday. 

The agenda includes:

Items 1 and 2 are related.

1.     An application submitted by 63-68 RWKOP LLC to amend the Zoning Map within Rego Park in Queens Community Board District 6 by a.) eliminating from within an existing R4 District a C2-2 District bounded by Austin Street, a line 100 feet southeasterly of 63rd Drive, the northerly boundary line of the Long Island Railroad Main Line Right-of-Way, and 63rd Drive, b.) changing from an R4 District to an R7A District property bounded by Austin Street, a line 100 feet southeasterly of 63rd Drive, the northerly boundary line of the Long Island Railroad Main Line Right-of-Way, and 63rd Drive, and c.) establishing within the proposed R7A District a C2-3 District bounded by Austin Street, a line 100 feet southeasterly of 63rd Drive, the northerly boundary line of the Long Island Railroad Main Line Right-of-Way, and 63rd Drive.

2.     An application filed by 63-68 RWKOP LLC to amend the New York City Zoning Resolution establishing and mapping the area to be rezoned as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area in Rego Park in Queens Community Board District 6.

3.     Application submitted by Munir M. Islam to amend the Zoning Map within Queens Village in Queens Community Board District 13 by establishing within an existing R2 District a C2-3 District bounded by Hillside Avenue, 215th Street, a line 100 feet southeasterly of Hillside Avenue, and Vanderveer Street.

4.     Application submitted by Marino Plaza 63-12 LLC to amend the Zoning Map within Bellerose in Queens Community Board District 13 by a.) eliminating from within an existing R4 District a C1-3 District bounded by a line 80 feet northwesterly of Jericho Turnpike, 246th Street, Jericho Turnpike, and 245th Street, and b.) establishing within an existing R4 District a C2-3 District bounded by a line 80 feet northwesterly of Jericho Turnpike, 246th Street, Jericho Turnpike, and 245th Street.

5.     Application submitted by the Department of Sanitation and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for the site selection and acquisition of a property within Queens Community Board District 7 for use as an overflow parking lot for the Queens 7/7A Garages. Address of location is 122-10 31st Avenue in College Point.

Those who wish to testify may register for speaking time online and submit their contact information. Each registrant will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions on how to participate in the live public hearing. Speaking time can also be arranged by calling (718) 286-3000 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. prior to the date of the hearing.

Written testimony is welcome from those unable to testify live. All written testimony must be received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 3 and may be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] or by conventional mail sent to the Office of the Queens Borough President at 120-55 Queens Boulevard – Room 226, Kew Gardens, NY 11424.

The public hearing will be streamed live on the borough president’s website. It will be held on Thursday, December 3 at 10:30 a.m.

Adams Lauds Dismissal of Lawsuit Challenging Pandemic Commercial and Residential Protection Laws  

City Council Member Adrienne Adams

City Councilmember Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park) lauded the New York City Council’s win in a legal challenge to several bills designed to protect residential and commercial tenants during the pandemic. 

“The legislation passed by the City Council represents the City’s dedication to the many small businesses, impacted by COVID-19, that are the backbone of New York City’s economy.  Our businesses are hurting and these protections will allow them the opportunity to thrive in the future. I applaud the court’s ruling to uphold these vital laws,” said Adams. 

The lawsuit was brought by landlords who argued that the three bills, which were part of a COVID-19 relief package for New Yorkers, violated their constitutional rights.  

The District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected the property owners’ claim by ruling that the actions taken by the Council to combat COVID-19 and help New Yorkers were reasonable to balance the infringement of contractual rights versus public interest needs in the middle of this pandemic.  

The full ruling can be read here

Miller Allocates Funding for Sanitation Service in Southeast Queens

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Councilmember I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, and Springfield Gardens) announced a new initiative on Wednesday to keep District 27 clean in partnership with the Department of Sanitation. 

“We’ve received several complaints regarding illegal dumping, trash pile-up, and other eyesores in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19 budget cuts. We must maintain our vital corridors’ cleanliness and resolve any quality-of-life issues as they arise. I am grateful to be able to provide additional funding towards this effort and appreciate DSNY’s hard work on behalf of the distinct,” said Miller.

Between COVID-19 keeping more people at home, a reduction in sanitation services and pandemic-related budget cuts, overflowing trash bins and other eyesores have popped up along some of Southeast Queens’ most heavily trafficked corridors.

In certain hotspots, the overflow of trash has promoted illegal dumping of household trash, creating heaps of refuse in residential areas.

As part of the partnership with DSNY, Miller has allocated funding for mobile litter patrol units along Linden Boulevard, Springfield Boulevard, and Merrick Boulevard (from 107th Avenue to Springfield).

The effort comes after several constituent complaints of illegal dumping and trash piling up along around the district. The mobile litter units will provide additional hours of service to address these complaints and restore the level of cleanliness residents are accustomed to.

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