Nabes protest controversial Creedmoor land deal
by Shane Miller
Sep 10, 2013 | 852 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents this past weekend protested progress on a controversial land deal in the wake of a report that found issues with the process that allowed the sale.

The Indian Cultural and Community Center (ICCC) is moving ahead with plans for 4.5 acres of land they purchased on the Creedmoor psychiatric-hospital campus, a sprawling 300-acre facility on the Queens Village and Bellerose border.

In 2006, then-state senator Frank Padavan pushed for the sale of the property through special legislation. ICCC purchased the land in 2009 from the New York State Dormitory Authority for $1.8 million in a no-bid process. In 2011, the land was valued at $7.3 million.

The ICCC is a private foundation associated with St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church , which ministers to Indian Christians.

Last week, at the request of State Senator Tony Avella, the New York State Office of the Inspector General released a report that found clear and convincing evidence that the ICCC “exploited loopholes in the statute and lapses in oversight by the Dormitory Authority.”

It also concluded that ICCC purposely sought to deceive that agency, as well as members of the community and elected officials, regarding their intention to build residential housing on property.

“From the very beginning, I have had my suspicions regarding the ICCC’s involvement in this shady land deal,” said Avella. “The Inspector General’s report confirms my suspicions, that at the very least the ICCC intentionally engaged in deceptive practices with the intent to mislead the public about its intentions with this property and at the very worst engaged in possible illegal activity.

Any residential development at the site would require approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). ICCC's application has been filed with the BSA, which was set to hold a hearing on the matter on September 10.

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