Save the Waterfront - This Land is Our Land - Public Land for Public Use

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This petition has been modified to address our serious need for school seats and a recreation center in addition to the proposed climate change wetlands park.

The Board of Ed Building on Vernon Blvd and 44th Drive has the potential to provide more school seats than any other currently proposed school. The adjacent RFP site can provide educational climate change opportunities, access to the waterfront, and open space - making this one of the most viable areas for our future generations as well as a buffer against sea levels rising.

Additional floors can provide artist and light manufacturing space, a cultural center, a climate change educational center, job training, space for NGOs and more.

The neighboring DOT site is ideal for a recreation center which could include a swimming pool, a skating rink, basketball courts, and other activities.
We the community know how to economically grow from within.

This petition was inspired by the Court Square Civic Association petition calling for planned public open space - a Community need which has become increasingly rare and grossly underutilized by design. This is a chance for Elected officials to respond favorably to the public demands for more school seats and parkland. We will never have a chance to reclaim this city owned property if it is handed over to EDC as proposed.

LIC Coalition presents this petition specifically to protest:

(1) The two RFPs (Request for Proposals) by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for properties along the Western portion of 44th Drive and Vernon Blvd that impose EDC projects without transparency or consensus from the community; and

(2) Any City-approved use of neighboring properties without consensus from the Community; and

(3) Any proposed rezoning in the surrounding community that does not directly address community concerns and does not rely on community consensus.
We the Community are tired of the City's promise of affordable housing at the expense of open/ public space, and in exchange for massive density that further contributes stress to our school system, transportation, infrastructure and climate protection. We are offering the City a chance to show its constituents that their concerns are heard.

The waterfront properties owned by the City should be for everyone - not subsidized by development. Land use should originate bottom up from the Community - not top down.

Our requests are:

1. Dedicate the Board of Ed RFP site for school seats, artist and light manufacturing space, a cultural center, a climate change educational center, job training, space for NGOs and other community benefits.

2. Dedicate the DOT site as a community recreation center.

3. Protect the Environment. Protect and preserve land located in the flood plain as natural wetland to maintain the health of our ecosystem, protect against future flooding, and provide educational opportunities. Otherwise and without City protection the upland community will only be further stressed. (See Flood Plain Map)

4 Support Queens Community Board 2's request to seize Lake Vernon (44-02 Vernon Blvd). Protect Lake Vernon and preserve it to benefit the Community.

5. Dedicate the 44th Drive RFP site as park land. As this is already City owned property, we ask that you dedicate this land as park land for the people. It is imperative to find other suitable locations for affordable housing, but this is one of the only opportunities in the area including Court Square, Queensboro Plaza and Long Island City to create and protect open space. Locate City funds to make this public, open space.

We demand our elected officials to help us put forth a solution. We, as residents and business owners, are dissatisfied with the way open space has been ‘planned’ for, ‘protected’, and ‘maintained’ to this point. Families live here. People work here. Much of our livelihood is sourced here. A reasonable ratio of development to active open space is critical to the health, safety, and overall well-being of residents and to the environment.

We cannot afford to wait and see what happens. And it cannot fall solely to the responsibility of the residents to protect and enhance open space opportunities.
We ask our elected officials to work with Mayor De Blasio to respond to their electorate and actualize Long Island City's potential in partnership with Community groups for our families and neighbors.

This petition will be delivered to:

Mayor of New York City
Bill De Blasio

Queens Borough President
Borough President Melinda Katz

State Senator
Michael Gianaris

State Assembly Member
Catherine Nolan

New York City Council Member
Jimmy Van Bramer

Queens Community Boards 2 and 1