Posted by: vote4claxton | January 13, 2009


My name is Marquez Claxton. I am a resident of Laurelton, Queens as well as the Public Safety Committee chair for Community Board 13.  I am here today to record my strong opposition to the requested allowance that would in essence “grandfather” this applicant’s right to build a structure that is out of context with the current zoning for the location. 


Much can be said regarding the intended use for this location but understanding the focus for these proceedings, please consider not only the message that would be sent to my community but know for some of us this is a litmus test on whether legal maneuvering will trump fairness and justice.


Consider the fact that for many years our community has been over-run with out of context structures.  Being responsible and respectful residents, we engaged in a multi-year, arduous process in order to maintain the integrity and character of our homes and neighborhood.  We struggled, debated, fought and ultimately came to a reasonable accommodation with the City Planning Commission that led to significant rezoning for our community.  We abided by the letter of the law in our efforts and although during the many years of negotiations we lost significant portions of our community to insensitive, inconsiderate, money hungry real-estate developers, we accepted a plan that would offer some protection from the invaders and de-stabilizers.  That re-zoning plan is by no means perfect, but it offered us a ceasefire from the constant bombardment of structures that we had to cringe at when we walked by.  It gave us time to evaluate the increased need for resources throughout our community because of an exploding population brought on by much of the development.  Just as importantly, it gave some of us who are cynics a glimmer of hope that perhaps government can effectively protect the people from business entities who choose to operate as ravenous, callous invaders as opposed to responsible and caring neighbors.


My community acted in good faith and with dignity when it proposed, negotiated and accepted the zoning changes.  Those changes, we believe to be clear, comprehensive and concise.  We have fully accepted them and are abiding by them and we expect anyone who chooses to join this community to do the same. 


This proposed hotel project is not only out of character for the immediate vicinity but as we hold this hearing, it would be illegal if built as proposed.  We, the community may have lacked the political and legal sophistication to have foreseen this transparent and self-serving maneuver, but we hope that all of you will recognize when someone is attempting to use the law to act in a way that will be considered by many to be above the law.  Do not let the work, dedication and commitment of an entire community along with the City Planning Commission be made a mockery of by selfish and shrewd legal gamesmanship.  I implore you to reject this application so that the integrity of our community can be maintained and our faith in City government rewarded.  Thank you.


Submitted for testimony on January 13, 2009 at BSA hearing re: Springfield Gardens Hotel


Marquez Claxton


Laurelton resident

Community Board 13 member


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