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Community Board 5 revisits budget priorities, along with DOT work and smoke shops

Oct. 13, 2023 By Anthony Medina

On a night when conversations regarding the Community Board 5 Capital and Expense Budget Priorities for fiscal year 2025 took precedence on the board’s agenda, speakers on the public forum portion of the meeting voiced concerns over road work and word of more cannabis shops in the area.

Community Board 5 met inside the Christ The King High School for its monthly board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

First on the docket, Queens County District Attorney Candidate Michael Mossa introduced himself to the board and discussed some of the objectives of his campaign, including changes to bail laws, no community jails and securing the border.

Maryann Lattanzio spoke at the public forum regarding traffic disruptions resulting from scheduled road work in the board’s district. The milling and paving process, especially along Myrtle Avenue, caused more traffic buildup and road conditions in areas where cars are susceptible to damage.

CB5 chair Vincent Arcuri said District Manager Gary Giordano has conducted walkthroughs of affected neighborhoods to have any large potholes and other street conditions addressed by the Department of Transportation.

On behalf of the Friends of Ridgewood Public Library, Carol Benvic-Bradley, shared three events free for the community, including a book sale on Saturday, Oct. 21, a Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 28 and a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 19th at 6:30 p.m.

The following speaker, Charlie Vavruska, shared disdain over cannabis and dispensaries in the district, in a rousing speech. He told the board the superintendent in the district said every principal in the area is having problems with children coming into school high on pot. He also condemned the board for their tie vote on supporting the first cannabis CARD application.

According to CB5, there are 7 more applications for cannabis dispensaries for the district. Three applications were filed for 56-40 Myrtle Ave., in Ridgewood — where the Happy Days store was located— all under the same last name, according to Giordano. Two applications for retail dispensary locations are addressed to 70-24 Myrtle Ave., in Glendale, next to the McDonald’s.

One Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary application was applied for 63-09 Flushing Ave. and another for 64-01 Grand Ave. in Maspeth.

According to Giordano, the board asked for a 30-day extension on all of the applications, which have more so been granted. He also added concern over the quality of newer incoming applicants

“The first that we got, like them or not, for the location at 74- 03 Metro— the old Chase Bank— that person seemed like they had their act together,” Giordano said. “The application was much more professionally done and as we’re getting more of them, it just seems more and more haphazard. So I’m quite worried with regard to what kind of people are applying for all of this.”

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. later joined the meeting and talked about upcoming events. He also  further emphasized action towards concerns over unregistered motorbikes and retail cannabis dispensaries, telling the board his car was recently hit by a moped rider.

The board voted in favor of the Capital and Expense Budget Priorities for the fiscal year 2025, with some changes to be made to the verbiage, along with a motion presented by the Zoning and Land Use Committee, regarding a request to extend a variance for Outreach Development Corporation.

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