CB 13: Creedmoor team in development 1

Community Board 13, chaired by Bryan Block, reported the development of a Creedmoor task force on Monday.

Eastern Queen’s community board reported action related to an aging health center in Monday night’s general meeting.

Community Board 13 First Vice Chair Richard Hellenbrecht reported to the board a meeting held between Borough President Donovan Richards’ Office and Queens Civic Congress leadership earlier this month related to the future of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, located at 79-25 Winchester Blvd. in Queens Village. He said the borough president’s Director of Planning and Development Vicky Garvey will be developing a task force of community leaders aimed at centering discussion around transformation of the property.

Hellenbrecht said Richards said no concrete plan is in place for development of the site, but that the construction of “big-box” stores has been ruled out. According to Hellenbrecht, Richards also said New York State will be taking the lead on future development, but that Albany has consulted with elected officials in the area.

The psychiatric center operates under the state Office of Mental Health.

“The State has expressed an interest in engaging in conversations around the future of the Creedmoor site,” a spokesperson for Richards told the Chronicle in a message on Tuesday. “To that end, considering the immense potential of the site, the Borough President believes there must be a robust community engagement process with local elected officials and stakeholders — creating a true community-centric vision for the property.”

Several board members expressed interest in joining the to-be-developed task force, with Hellenbrecht saying he would report back to Garvey with a list of names.

“I made my point that has always been discussed that anything that does go on there reflect the existing community surrounding Creedmoor, with single-family and double-family buildings,” Hellenbrecht said of the Nov. 9 meeting between the Civic Congress leadership and the Borough President’s Office.

District Manager Mark McMillan, making it clear that he was speaking in his capacity as a citizen and not as district manager, said that the recent announcement of the development of Willets Point to include a soccer stadium and 2,500 units of affordable housing should serve as a warning that buildings of such density could be in play for the Eastern Queens area as well.

“I think the elected officials are so desperate right now, and it’s not that our city doesn’t need it, but they’re so desperate to create housing that we could be in danger, and I say this as a citizen not as a district manager, of being overcrowded by the need to continue to build housing even in areas where the housing doesn’t really fit,” he said.

“As I told people in my community, you really have to stay on top of these elected officials to not let them overcrowd communities that don’t presently have the density.”

The more than 30 members on the Zoom meeting also unanimously passed a resolution calling for the reconsideration of the term limits imposed on community board members, which were enacted in a ballot initiative in 2018.