2002-12-28 / Letters

Wants PS 114 Rezoned

Wants PS 114 Rezoned

The following letter was sent to Community School Board 27:

In a vote taken at the Rockaway Park Homeowners & Residents, Inc. General Meeting on July 25, this association unanimously consented to propose to School Board 27 to re-zone Public School 114. As you are aware, the current zoning for PS114 extends from Breezy Point to the West-side of Beach 122 Street in Rockaway Park. The Beach 122 Street dividing line has, for 30 years, pitted neighbor against neighbor, street against street and half of a community, Rockaway Park, the Western half against the Eastern half.

In a vote taken at the Rockaway Park Homeowners & Residents, Inc. General Meeting on July 25, this association unanimously consented to propose to School Board 27 to re-zone Public School 114. As you are aware, the current zoning for PS114 extends from Breezy Point to the West-side of Beach 122 Street in Rockaway Park. The Beach 122 Street dividing line has, for 30 years, pitted neighbor against neighbor, street against street and half of a community, Rockaway Park, the Western half against the Eastern half.

However, and even more significant, is what the current zoning boundary has done to small children and their friendships. Children living above Beach 122 Street who were friendly with children below Beach 122 Street from infancy to Pre-K were summarily sent to separate schools at the age of 5, disrupting their socialization. We are requesting that the new zoning include Breezy Point to the East-side of Beach 117 Street including the two addresses on Rockaway Beach Blvd across from the Seaside library [116-18 and 116-16 Rockaway Beach Blvd.]. This is the "natural borderline"; (a "Main Street", if you will, continuing into Rockaway Beach from ending Rockaway Park) which we have read in the school construction specifications has always been first priority. Down zoning has to be the healthiest thing that can be done to a community that has been divided by the present day boundaries for the last 30 years.

By re-zoning to the newly proposed boundaries, the Rockaway Park community will be able to send all of its children to one school. While attending the recent school board zoning meetings, and taking into consideration the school board's logistics, the children being affected by the down zoning (Beach 122-Beach 117) are already bus children and fall outside the 1 1/2 mile radius of both PS 114 and PS 225. The children can be rightfully bused to their neighborhood school, PS114. This is a remedy to a problem that perhaps should never have occurred, but the solution must be forthcoming immediately so that what used to divide a community will now make it whole. Neighborhood schools are for neighborhood children as you have already proved when rezoning the mainland schools.

We are imploring you to put this proposed down zoning up for a vote and vote in favor in accordance with our aforementioned natural Rockaway Park boundaries. We are real estate tax paying families who have a right to attend, volunteer and cooperate with their neighborhood school. With the abundance of homes that have been built and those that are continuing to be built in early 2003, which fall directly within the 1 1/2 mile radius within PS225, the utilization will certainly be needed within PS225.

GINGER SMITH
ZONING CHAIRPERSON


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