BY LUIS GRONDA
A new coalition of disgruntled civic leaders and residents has come together against the proposed Glendale homeless shelter and is pursuing legal action to stop the City from following through on its plans.
The Glendale-Middle Village Coalition had its first meeting last week to publically discuss its plan to fight the shelter and raise money for their cause. The group is made of civic groups, like the Juniper Park Civic Association and the Glendale Civic Association, and residents who have been vocal against the proposal for a shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave.
The group has raised more than $30,000 overall and about $6,500 at last week’s meeting at Christ The King High School alone. According to Bob Holden and Sal Crifasi, two of the coalition’s co-founders, the group has used that money to hire an attorney, Long Island-based lawyer Chris Murray, to represent them in their case. They expect to file the suit by the end of this week, Holden said.
Holden, head of the JPCA, said their goal is to get the City to conduct an environmental impact survey instead of a environmental assessment of the proposed area, because, according to Holden, it will be a much more in-depth study of the area as opposed to the assessment, which only scratches the surface, he said.
“It wasn’t thorough enough. It does not talk about the fact that the building is located in a Brownfield site or the chemical plant that’s next door,” Holden said.
There is a chemical plant, called Independent Chemical Corporation, next door to the site and it has raised concerns from residents in the past. The company is looking to sell the property and the School Construction Authority would like to buy that land if a school is placed there instead.
Crifasi, who runs a real estate firm in Middle Village and has lived there all his life, said one of the main reasons for creating the group was to get residents involved. More than 400 people showed up to its first meeting.
“We wanted more community involvement, without that, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @luisgronda.