Though no formal application has been made to rezone a Douglaston Northern Boulevard property, Community Board 11 is preparing itself to be strict on what it will allow to change.
Fernando Migalis, the owner of Little Neck Car Wash, bought the neighboring 232-06/20 property in October without concrete plans on what he’d like to do with it, Douglas Montgomery, chairperson of the Douglaston Zoning Committee, reported at the board’s Jan. 4 meeting.
“They came to us asking for advice on what they could develop there and we’re not in that position to offer advice on what they can develop,” Montgomery said.
Migalis’ lawyer, Adam Rothkrug, met with the zoning committee Dec. 22 to discuss possibly rezoning the property, a notion the board thought could positively benefit the neighborhood — Montgomery said soil contamination has deterred multiple potential buyers in the past several years, including Mizumi, the neighboring Asian buffet, which had at one point considered building out. The property is also located in a Stage 1 Flood Zone.
“That may be an advantage to the neighborhood to do something like that,” Montgomery continued. “It would also form some kind of cohesion to as what that strip looks like coming into the neighborhood. Right now its a hodgepodge.”
It is unknown what kind of rezoning Migalis might apply for or what will become of the lot, but Montgomery was certain an application is forthcoming, mainly alluding to the “astronomical” amount of money he paid to acquire it.
The board agreed that rezoning would be positive for the area, which is directly across from the Alley Pond Golf Center, but suggested that it handle the situation delicately so that an unsightly or massive structure would not be built in the neighborhood. The committee members pointed out that they’d like to see the project be as low-scale as possible and keep commercial density down.
“This is something that is obviously very sensitive to the community,” board Chairperson Michael Budabin said on altering the character of Douglaston.
Montgomery reported that Migalis and Rothkrug will return before the board with a presentation as well as the effects the project would have on its surrounding environment. A required site contamination study was also suggested.
Though it was not on the agenda, the members briefly discussed the Department of Homeless Services shelter for 75 single-adult women over the age of 50 that is anticipated to open in Douglaston by the end of 2021. The agency will transform the Pride of Judea Community Services building, located at 243-02 Northern Blvd., and offer priority placement to those originally from the area so they can be closer to their support networks, houses of worship, schools, jobs, healthcare, family and communities.
The board will have a joint Douglaston Zoning Committee and Health and Human Services Committee meeting on Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in which a DHS representative is set to provide more details on the project. No public hearing has been scheduled at this time. The committee is open to the public for listening, but not for participation.