New sewers and new zoning are expected to be coming soon to Community Board 13 neighborhoods that have needed them for decades.
Speaking at the board meeting held Tuesday night at Bellerose Assembly of God Church, Tom Donnelly, an engineer with the city Economic Development Commission, said the agency has begun phase four of what is now a multiyear project to improve capacity in sanitary and stormwater sewers in portions of eastern and southeastern Queens.
The new phase is in the Springfield Gardens area, and will include the reconstruction of portions of Springfield Boulevard, 147th and 149th avenues; and 220th through 224th streets.
The project is being coordinated with the city departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.
Work is slated to be completed in 2014, and Donnelly said residents in the project area who have experienced flooding problems should see immediate results.
“I’ve been out here 10 years,” he said. “When the hurricane came, the places where we’ve completed work had the water go down quickly, unlike some other places,” he said.
The project also will include the creation of a “bluebelt,” or a wetland area in the rectangle formed by 149th and 147th avenues and Springfield Boulevard and 184th Street. Springfield Lake also will be dredged to increase its depth.
As for rezoning, the Queens Village area, the last neighborhood in the district that has not undergone major rezoning since 1958, will be recommended in a letter to city zoning officials.
The city just recently completed a study and recommendations for Bellerose, Floral Park and Glen Oaks that have been welcomed by residents and are expected to pass in the City Council later this year.
CB 13 Chairman Bryan Block said he would have been willing to send the city his request for a Queens Village study “right now.”
He still is looking for a formal endorsement of the proposal from the Queens Village and Wayanda civic associations.
“I don’t want any of the residents there to say they didn’t know,” Block said.
The rezoning study just completed, if approved by the Council, is intended to preserve the character of some of the district’s older single-family and two-family home neighborhoods, protecting them from many large-house designs and a good deal of commercial construction.
In other business, several residents expressed their dismay with a liquor store that is being proposed near Springfield Gardens High School.
Resident Michael Duncan, speaking for several of his neighbors at the marathon meeting, said the proximity to the school, which is located at 143-10 Springfield Blvd., makes it inappropriate.
Board members were taken aback upon learning that unlike bars and restaurants, which serve liquor on premises, liquor stores, which sell for off-site consumption, do not have to submit a request to the local community board under state law.
The entrance to the store would have to be more than 200 feet from the entrance to the school.