Some Queens residents are seeing red over a plan to turn a piece of green space in their neighborhood into a daycare center. NY1’s Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

“We don't need that,” said Ann Jawin of the Douglaston Bay Manor Civic Association. “What they need is outdoor playing space. That's what these kids need.”

Some Douglaston residents and a local church are at odds over what to do with this city-owned land on 234th Street and 39th Avenue. Many in the neighborhood say the city should build a public park here.

“This community has no parkland whatsoever,” said Queens City Councilman Tony Avella. “There is no opportunity for a passive recreation park or for children to come and play. It's about time for this community to have a park just like every other community in the city.”

“It would be lovely to have a park here in the summer where you could just sit and relax or maybe have a picnic,” added resident Marie Marsina. “And we don't have that here and I think it's vital to a community to have a place where everyone feels it’s a neighborhood.”

But church leaders at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, which is next to the vacant land, are trying to buy the property so it can build a daycare center on the lot.

“I believe that a daycare center is much more important to the community,” said the head of the church, Aram Cazazian.

But many here say the daycare center would mostly benefit the people who drive to the area and commute from the nearby Long Island Railroad station. The head of the church agrees, but he says having the center is still better than building a park.

“We believe that each house in this neighborhood has a big backyard,” added Cazazian. “Those backyards will serve very well for any kind of playing grounds for the kids that live here.”

The church is in talks with the city's Housing Preservation and Development agency to buy the property, which condemned the land decades ago to make way for an extension of 39th Avenue, a plan that was later scrapped.

The residents are now trying convince HPD to turn the property over the Parks Department, but HPD did not return NY1’s calls for comment.

A sale of the land to the church would have to go through the community board and the city council for approval, but the residents say they are hoping it will not get that far. They say they may try to purchase the land and build their own park.

- Ruschell Boone NY1