2009-09-11 / Letters

Bad News For Rockaway Beach

Dear Editor,

Nicholas Briano's informative piece, "City Eyes Mini Golf in Rockaway Beach," came as a huge, unwelcome surprise. The signatories of this letter as well as all of the neighbors we spoke with (40+) are very concerned about the proposal to build a mini-golf course on the remaining green space bordering Shorefront Parkway between Beach 92 Street and Beach 94 Street. Rockaway Beach has very limited green spaces. The proposal states that the course will be open seasonally leaving those of us who live here with an unsightly and unusable entertainment arena for half of the year.

It is also slated to be open until 11:00 at night, which means floodlights would be required. As we all know, parking is a major problem during the summer months, and the parking problem will only get worse as the new development on Shorefront Parkway between Beach 91 and Beach 92 Streets is occupied and others are constructed. The Community Board already expressed its displeasure about the construction of this 40- unit condominium because of insufficient parking.

Why would the Board permit a development which would only add to our parking woes? The Parks Department already provides the surfers' beach, the skateboard park, handball and basketball courts, open-space for public gatherings, and a snack bar in this area. We do not need additional recreational amenities on this tiny strip. We do need the little green space that is available for walking and sitting with our families and neighbors, public concerts, and space for the yearly surfboard and skateboard contests for youth and others.

Apparently, other city parks, such as Flushing Meadows, do have minigolf courses. However, Flushing Meadows with its expansive acreage is hardly comparable to the narrow strip of green space which residents and visitors alike enjoy in our community. More amenities and human congestion will also impact the birds, such as the brants, who use the green space for feeding during part of the year. We believe there are other areas of our peninsula which could be greatly improved with a mini-golf course and which would actually be welcomed by nearby residents. The Parks Department should preserve the few open spaces available to it. We value this green space and we are deeply offended that the proposal has moved forward with solicitation of bids without any time for public comment.

Thanks to The Wave for printing the story, and to my neighbors … it's time to organize and fight against this newest encroachment.

JANIE SIMMONS

ERIC METCALF

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