On July 6, the Appellate Division Court ruled that part of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park may not be used for a mall complex known as Willets West without state approval.
This has been a contentious issue for some time, because many people feel that parkland belongs to the public and should not be awarded for private development projects. The people’s land was just going to be given away.
This ruling may still be appealed by the developers, but at least the court has essentially recognized that parkland belongs to the public.
We should be thankful to those who filed the lawsuit against the project and their supporters, which include State Senator Tony Avella, City Club of New York, NYC Park Advocates, Willets Point United, and Queens Civic Congress, as well as individuals like Benjamin Haber and Paul Graziano.
What would people have said if this attempted land grab was happening in Central Park or Prospect Park? Most people would be outraged and justifiably so. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park deserves the same respect.
Let’s see the portion of the park that was going to be home to a mall used for appropriate recreational and green space. This will be beneficial to all of the residents of Queens and especially to the people living in the adjacent neighborhoods of Corona and West Flushing.