4 THE QUEENS COURIER • JUNE 6, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Douglaston residents slam proposed high-rise senior facility
BY JENNA BAGCAL
Douglaston residents came in droves to
the monthly Community Board 11 meeting
Photo by Jenna Bagcal, inset courtesy of Cord Meyers
The site and rendering of a proposed high-rise senior development in Douglaston
on June 3 to express opposition to a
proposed 15-story senior living facility.
In May, developer David Marx’s attorney
Eric Palatnik presented the proposal
for the facility at 242-22 61st Ave. to
Deepdale Gardens and Beech Hills shareholders.
According to the plan Palatnik
presented, the facility would be located
between the Douglaston Shopping Center
and the Douglaston Golf Course.
Marx proposed a zoning height authorization
to the Douglaston Zoning
Committee. Th e variance would make it
possible to build a 15-story building as
opposed to a maximum of four stories as
the current zoning allows.
“Th e Proposed Development, although
taller than buildings in the surrounding
area, is appropriate at this site given
its isolated, elevated location and would
not impair the essential character of the
neighborhood or cast shadows on neighboring
residences that would diminish
their quality of life. Th e Proposed
Development would provide a quality
assisted living facility for seniors, a
vulnerable and underserved population
throughout New York City,” wrote
Palatnik in the written proposal.
Residents strongly opposed the proposal,
charging that the New York State
Department of Health facility would have
adverse eff ects on the surrounding area
“Th e proposed height would greatly
change the character of our neighborhood,”
said Mindy Stein, a member of the
Beech Hills Board of Directors.
Stein added that the 15-story building
would “block the sun and air, create traffi c
and noise pollution throughout the environment,
cause health issues and would
threaten our quality of life.”
Th e complex would be comprised of
two buildings: the 164-foot, 200 bed facility
and a 45-foot building that would
house geriatric medical offi ce space. Th e
plan also include 180 parking spaces in a
multi-tiered parking garage.
Others like Beech Hills Co-Op Board
President Janice Schreibersdorf said that
the seniors in the community would not
be willing to pay the exorbitant prices to
live in the proposed facility.
“Th e seniors in our community are not
spending fi ve, seven, eight, nine thousand
dollars a month for assisted living,”
Schreibersdorf said. “Th e seniors that live
in Beech Hills and Deepdale and I would
venture to say the entire surrounding
area, are either low income or middle
Joann Paradiso said the quiet area and
beautiful surrounding views are what
pushed her to purchase a Beech Hills
co-op less than one year ago.
“Working in the long-term care industry,
I’m quite familiar with the 24/7, 365-
day cycle that occurs with such facilities.
Th at include constant deliveries,
emergency admissions and discharges of
patients by ambulances, family visits and
large amounts of employees that are needed
to run such important establishments.”
She added that if the proposal goes
through, it will set an unwanted precedence
for developers to build similar sized
buildings in the area.
Early voting sites
doubled in Queens
BY BILL PARRY
The city’s Board of Elections
announced it would double the number
of early voting polling sites from seven
to 14 aft er complaints from state Senator
Michael Gianaris and several elected
offi cials in northeast Queens that the
original plan was inadequate.
Under the state’s new voting law,
Queens residents will be able to begin
casting their votes nine days before
Election Day this year but the BOE
plan had too few locations, and “the few
sites chosen are not even convenient for
many residents,” Gianaris wrote in a letter
to the BOE.
“Seven polling sites for more than 2
million people is an aff ront to democracy.
Th e Board of Elections plan deserves
a recount,” Gianaris said at his press
conference. “We passed this law to make
it easier for millions of New Yorkers to
vote. Th e Board of Elections needs to
step up so more New Yorkers will vote.”
Gianaris was angered that just a single
location was originally planned for
all of western Queens, at LaGuardia
Community College. On May 31, the
BOE announced it would add a second
location in Gianaris’ district, at
the Museum of the Moving Image in
“I am glad more voters will have the
chance to vote now that additional poll
sites have been added,” Gianaris said.
“While we need even more going forward,
doubling the initial proposal is a
step in the right direction.”
Th e BOE also added a polling site
in Bayside, at the Korean Community
Services located at 203-05 32nd Avenue,
aft er Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and
Assemblyman Edward Braunstein fi red
off a letter to the BOE complaining that
voters in eastern Queens were being
Th e original plan had just one early
voting polling site in all of northeast
Queens, at the Al Oerter Recreational
Center in Flushing Meadows Corona
Park several miles away from voters in
Bayside, Fresh Meadows, Auburndale,
Bay Terrace, Whitestone, Oakland
Gardens, Douglaston and Little Neck.
Other new locations announced
by the BOE on Th ursday include the
Cross Island YMCA in Bellerose, the
First Baptist Church in East Elmhurst,
Holy Trinity Parish Church in Cambria
Heights, the New York Hall of Science
in Corona and the Rochdale Village
Community Center in Jamaica.
Big pot bust in Flushing nets three arrests
Photo via Twitter/@NYPD109Pct
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Narcotics offi cers raided a Flushing home
on June 1 and cuff ed three people aft er
recovering more than $100,000 in marijuana
along with stashes of opioids and cash, it
Law enforcement sources said the NYPD
Queens North Narcotics Squad executed a
court-ordered search of a home on 163rd
Street near Laburnum Avenue at 1 p.m.
on June 1 as a result of an ongoing investigation.
Th e night before, according to the criminal
complaint provided by the Queens
District Attorney’s offi ce, narcotics offi -
cers staked out the location and observed
numerous individuals — including John
Lao, 51, of Bay Club Drive in Bayside —
transferring bags between the home and
several vehicles that drove away. Offi cers
had stopped those vehicles at other locations
around Queens and found that the
bags contained marijuana.
At 9:30 p.m. on May 31, the criminal complaint
noted, a police offi cer approached
Lao as he exited the 163rd Street home
and placed him under arrest. While doing
so, the cop noticed through an open front
doorway several vacuum-sealed bags of
marijuana in plain sight inside the home.
Th is prompted the NYPD Queens North
Narcotics Squad to seek and obtain the
search warrant executed the following day.
While searching the premises, cops
found a “large quantity” of marijuana, contained
within large, vacuum-sealed packs,
and Oxycodone pills along with $37,000
Th e criminal complaint noted that offi -
cers found 40 clear plastic vacuum-sealed
bags inside of the living room and fi ve similar
bags of pot in the basement. In all, 43
pounds of marijuana, with a street value in
excess of $100,000, were recovered during
Cops also found inside methamphetamines
inside the kitchen cabinets and
a bag of Oxycodone pills in a television
stand. Th ey also recovered $37,080 in cash
hidden under a couch, the criminal complaint
Two other people were arrested in connection
with the June 1 raid: Jinda Zhang,
31, of Rowland, California; and Ling Tsang,
56, of Galloway, New Jersey.
All three have been charged with criminal
possession of a controlled substance
and criminal possession of marijuana.
Th e suspects appeared in Queens
Criminal Court later on June 1 for arraignment.
Bail was set for Lao at $50,000, while
Zhang and Tsang were each ordered held
on $30,000 bond or $15,000 cash bail. Th ey
are set to return to court on June 27.
Th e 109th Precinct took to Twitter
on June 1 to post a picture of the seized
weed and thank the NYPD Queens North
Narcotics team for its work.