2001-12-29 / Letters

Not The Answer

Not The Answer

Dear Editor;

The artist’s conception of Arverne By The Sea proposed by Planning Board 14, and supported by the city and HPD, falls short of real long-term solutions for that community or anywhere else in the Rockaway's. Had Planning Board 14 been focused in truly resolving the economic crisis facing this community, they might not have been so eager and willing to build what is really not necessarily in the best interest of the community at this time. The Rockaways is altogether overburdened with housing at every level and short of jobs.

Along with building additional new homes, the proposal calls for commercial and retail space, a community recreational center and charter school to accommodate 800 students population. Again, an idea short of the mark of real solutions for that community. For example, the commercial establishment proposed by the board does not meet the community demand of higher quality commercial retail establishment (Sears, Macy's, JC Penny, or Pathmark, etc) to boost its dying retail market. It does not address correcting below standard performances of most of our elementary, middle, and high schools on the peninsula.

Therefore, how do we successfully convince incoming families that our community truly is the right community for them and their families? That the additional school proposed by the board will be to their utmost satisfaction. How do we ease their fears of making a long-term investment in a community seemingly going nowhere?  This community needs short-term planning and long-term solutions. The talk of casinos for the area is an excitement that if allowed could have a tremendous impact that could possibly change the face of the Rockaways and the market real value for current and future investment real owners; along with providing long term solutions, jobs and stability.

Prior to the proposed casinos for the area by the Mayor and the Governor, I had proposed at a Community Board 14 meeting, that with the coming of the Air Train servicing Kennedy Airport, the Rockaways have an excellent opportunity of redeeming itself economically by luring financial investors to the area with selling offers of real financial guarantees. The guarantee of prime beachfront property at marginal cost for their investment of building low-rise hotels and a comprehensive commercial shopping center. There is also the promise of a Commuter Ferry Service connecting the Rockaway's and the mainland plus much, much more. Therefore, Planning Board 14 need be awakened to the fact that there is a new Rockaway rising off the Atlantic shores with a multitude of opportunities, than the current Arverne By The Sea proposal.

REY CLARKE


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