By a vote of 30 in favor, two in opposition, and two abstentions, the board nearly unanimously supported the proposal to create an incentive-based support system for Ridgewood’s manufacturing district in SOMA, between Cypress and Irving avenues and west of the NY Connecting Railroad Bay Ridge Freight Line.
“The IBZ has nothing to do with zoning of the industrial property,” said Jean Tanler, CB5 member and coordinator for the Maspeth Industrial Business Association. “We provide financial assistance and services to businesses and access to incentives.”
If approved by the IBZ Commission, businesses moving into the IBZ would receive a $1,000 tax credit for every employee on staff and the support of an IBZ board for a number of financial assistance matters.
Representative of four property owners along Irving area have been seeking to exclude their property from the industrial zone and develop it residentially.
Although their lots are zoned manufacturing, Eric Palatnik, attorney for the group notes the properties are on the edge of the proposed district and could be excluded. The board voted that the properties be included.
"By combining some huge lots, with the R-6 zone they asked for, the residential buildings could be built as a tower and really not fit into the character of the homes surrounding it," said Walter Sanchez, chair of the Zoning Committee. "These properties in question make up a significant percentage of the zone."
Other Board News
• The family of Tony Ferruccio asked the board to help with information about the accident that took his life on the Grand Central Parkway near Utopia Parkway on June 23. Ferruccio was a proprietor of the Mobile Service Station at the corner of Fresh Pond Road and 61 Street in Maspeth for decades. The family felt it was unusual that a motorcycle driver who was notoriously safe would have an accident without some other contributing factor.
• The board voted to follow the lead of the Parks Committee and oppose the method of decommissioning the dam in Forest/Highland Park. The board is worried the natural beauty of the old Ridgewood Reservoir will be destroyed to make way for athletic fields. "There are so few nature preserves left in Queens, why destroy it," said Steven Fiedler, committee chair.