2005-07-15 / Community

Brooklyn Pol Knocks Kings Plaza Expansion

By Alyssa Goldstein

State Senator Carl Kruger, who represents parts of Brooklyn, responded angrily to the City Planning Commission and Bloomberg administration for “giving a conspiratorial wink” to the approval of a 120,000-square-foot building that will be constructed on the current site of King’s Plaza outdoor parking lot on Avenue U and East 65 street. The Kings Plaza shopping center is destination of choice for many Rockaway residents, particularly those who live on the peninsula’s west end. For those residents, the center is a short hop over the Marine Parkway Bridge.

Kruger says of this project, “we warned City Planning a long time ago not to arbitrarily approve a use for this site that will erode an already perilous traffic situation, destroy neighborhood mom-and-pop businesses and allow Kings Plaza, a historically bad neighbor, to further thumb its nose at the community.”

Kruger was not even “officially notified” of this decision but had to learn of it while reading a notice sent by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding the remediation of the site, which contains the contaminants Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene (BTEX) which are, according to the notice, “associated with the historic discharge of petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel fuel and/or No. 2 fuel oil.”

The DEC says that one of its primary objectives of this project is human health.

But Kruger is not buying it, “it says a great deal about the city administration that all of us-elected officials, the community boards, community leaders and residents-had to learn about this major project from a state agency,” he says.

Kruger is not going to allow the construction of the property happen without letting the community know what exactly is going to happen, in fact, he requested that the DEC holds a public meeting regarding this issue.

“Clearly, this work needs to be explained in a language that a non-scientist will understand” he says.

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