Peralta Bill Promoting Local Tourism Passes Senate

    State Senator Jose Peralta

    State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside) this week saw the bill he sponsored, (S.479), providing of the city’s boroughs with additional funding to promote their local tourism pass the senate.

    Under the measure, four percent of the Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue collected within each borough, up to an annual maximum of $300,000, will be reallocated to each particular borough to further tourism development.

    In 2017, New York City received a record-breaking 61.8 million visitors, about a 2% increase from the 60.5 million tourists that visited the city the year before. In fact, 2016 was the first time New York City hit the 60 million visitors mark.

    “Simply put, my bill will foster the growth of New York City’s tourism industry, which is a key economic engine for our city. Tourism is a great source of job-creation, and if the bill becomes law, each borough will be able to further promote their particular gems and attractions, from Flushing Meadows-Corona Park here in the district to the Bronx Zoo. A visit to New York City is incomplete if visitors skipped the boroughs.”

    The bill now moves to the assembly where Assemblymember Luis Sepúlveda (D-Bronx) is the sponsor.


    Avella Bill to Study Long Island Motor Parkway Expansion Passes Senate

    Sen. Tony Avella

    State Senator Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) yesterday saw his bill, (S1566) authorizing the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to conduct a study on a proposed extension of the Long Island Motor Parkway east from Winchester Boulevard to Little Neck Parkway pass the Senate unanimously.

    The study will address but is not limited to, the estimated cost of the project, the estimated duration of the project, the impact construction will have on local traffic patterns, and the environmental impact of the project.

    For years, Union Turnpike has been considered one of the most dangerous areas in Queens for bicyclists and pedestrians, including one fatality in January of 2014 when the bill was first introduced in the legislature. By extending the existing bike and walking path nearby contained within the Long Island Motor Parkway, public safety can be greatly improved.

    “Conducting this study to find out how feasible a Long Island Motor Parkway expansion is will play a major role in improving public safety near one of the more dangerous roads in Queens while also providing the community with much needed public space. I believe that the most sensible path may be for the Motor Parkway to be extended along the side of the Grand Central Parkway from Winchester Boulevard to Lakeville Road using the right of way, similar to the construction of the Rockaway Gateway Greenway along the Belt Parkway. Extending the Motor Parkway would also allow it to be joined with the planned Nassau County Motor Parkway project,” said Avella.

    The bill now moves to the assembly where Assembly Member David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows, Richmond Hill) is the sponsor.


    Katz Holds Public Hearing On Land Use Items

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz/via Facebook

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz tomorrow will hold a regular public hearing on land use with several Items on the agenda including:

    1. Application submitted on behalf of Silverbell Investment Co., Inc., for an extension of term of a previously granted variance for the continued use of an existing car rental facility with accessory outdoor storage of rental cars in an R2/C1-2 district within Community Board District 7.

    Address of location is 165-01 Northern Boulevard in Flushing.

    1. Application submitted on behalf of Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Inc., for a variance from height and setback, side yard and accessory off-street parking regulations to facilitate the development of a nine-story community facility building in a C4-2 district within Community Board District 7.

    Address of location is 40-46 College Point Boulevard and 131-66 & 131-68 40th Road in Flushing.

    1. Application submitted on behalf of Theater Building Enterprise, LLC, for a special permit to allow a physical culture establishment in a portion of an existing mixed-use building in a C4-3 district within Community Board District 5.

    Address of location is 55-27 Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood.

    1. Application submitted on behalf of Douglaston Shopping Center Owner LLC for a variance to increase the degree of non-conformity of an existing non-conforming shopping center in an R4 district within Community Board District 11.

    Address of location is 242-02 61st Avenue in Little Neck.

    1. Application submitted on behalf of Vertical Industrial Park Association for a special permit to allow a proposed physical culture establishment on a portion of an existing two-story (with mezzanine and cellar) commercial building in an M1-1 district within Community Board District 5.

    Address of location is 66-26 Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood.

    The public hearing is slated for 10:30 a.m., tomorrow, March 1 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.


    Van Bramer Looks At Art As Political Resistance

    City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer/Facebook

    City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside, Woodside) today will chair a council meeting to look at ‘Art as Resistance State in Trump’s America.’

    The meeting is part of Van Bramer’s chairman ship of the council’s  Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations.

    The meeting is slated for 10 a.m., today, Feb. 28 at City Hall in Lower Manhattan. The meeting is open to the public.

     

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