Queens residents and pols take to park to protest development plans

December 10, 2012 03:30PM

A group of neighborhood residents and local politicians gathered yesterday at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens to protest development plans for the green space, DNAinfo reported. Plans include building a tennis stadium and a soccer stadium on the park land, as well as a shopping mall and two parking garages.

“The Tennis Association wants to expand and take away more park land,” said State Sen. Tony Avella at the protest. “You’ve got Willets Point development, in which the parking will probably be on park land. Why can’t they buy some private land?”

Residents also complained that construction would harm the neighborhood’s atmosphere with traffic and air pollution. Demonstrators bandied signs that read, “Park Not For Sale” and “Put the Soccer Stadium in Central Park.”

However, not all officials are in opposition. State Sen. Jose Paralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya have supported the soccer stadium for Queens job creation.

As previously reported, Major League Soccer has made a pledge to replace land used for the stadium, but in October, the league was scrambling to find space. One site being considered was a toxic one on the Flushing River. [DNAinfo]Zachary Kussin