BY LUIS GRONDA
The Queens Borough Cabinet Board did not vote on a text amendment that would affect many homeowners still rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy on Monday, because it did not have a quorum.
Monday night’s meeting at Borough Hall focused on a Citywide Flood Resistance Text Amendment, which would remove barriers that are in place by current zoning regulations and allow homeowners to rebuild their property to its elevation prior to Sandy and be resilient in a way that is consistent with coastal areas.
The amendment was proposed by three City agencies: the Department of City Planning, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery.
But the vote on the amendment had to be postponed, as the board did not have quorum, or the minimum amount that is required by law to have the vote.
According to Sharon Lee, spokesperson for Borough President Melinda Katz, the attendance needed to reach quorum for this meeting was 19, though that is not the set amount for every vote at this board. That number varies depending on the issue, according to Lee.
Despite the no-vote, Lee said the amendment itself would move forward without delay and the vote itself was more of an opportunity for the Borough President, or any other stakeholder, to voice any concerns about the amendment if there were any.
“Borough President Katz issued an approval of the text amendment. Although there was no quorum at this particular meeting, Borough President Katz knows how vital this text amendment is to the homeowners of Queens. The members of the borough board most affected (the three community boards) all voted yes in full board meetings and then at Borough Hall. The three Councilmembers present expressed their support for the text amendment as well. The text amendment will move forward without delay,” The BP’s office said in a statement.
The board is chaired by Katz and is made up made up of chairpersons and district managers of each community board. Not enough were present. There were three council members present at the meeting as well, Elizabeth Crowley (D- Glendale), I. Daneek Miller (D- Jamaica) and Paul Vallone (D-Whitestone).
The leaders of community boards 10 and 14, both of which represent coastal neighborhoods that were vastly affected by Sandy, were in full support of the change.
Community Board 13, which represents areas in Southeast Queens, such as Rosedale, also supported the amendment, but requested that City Planning and Build it Back have a separate meeting with civic groups from the Southeast Queens neighborhood to address issues with homeowners from that area.
A City Planning representative said they would work to attend the Rosedale Civic Association meeting later this month to meet with residents.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.