Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Urgent call for hearing attendees
URGENT: Hearing at Borough Hall, Thursday February 2nd, 2012 at 10:30am
LDS (Mormon) Church Seeks to Overturn City-wide Community Facilities Reforms
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS/Mormon) are proposing to build an enormous community facility in North Flushing in an R2A zoning district on property that used to hold three single-family houses (and is now a garbage-strewn lot as the LDS doesn't take care of it). This is despite the fact that they currently own another property in an R7-1 zone where they can, as of right, build over 100,000 square feet of community facility space and don't have the need for any variances whatsoever.
I want to make this absolutely clear: If they receive approval for their proposed variances, all R1 and R2 zones in the city - Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island - are at risk.
The church is looking for numerous variances, including an almost doubling of their as-of-right FAR (.95 instead of .5). This was one of the major changes that was passed City-wide in the Community Facilities zoning reforms of 2004, along with mandatory on-site parking requirements - to make sure that religious facilities in R1 and R2 detached single-family low density zones would be more in scale with their surrounding neighborhoods. While part of North Flushing has been overwhelmed with community facilities over the last 20 years, none of them have ever received variances. If this variance is approved it opens the door for this to happen in every R1 and R2 community in the city. Both existing and new houses of worship will use this case as a precedent should they be successful.
CB7 voted unanimously against the variance proposal, which are reported in the links below.
CB 7 denies LDS church variances
Board 7 rejects variance request for church
CB 7 rejects Mormon plan
If you can, please come to the hearing on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 at 10:30am, Borough Hall and make your voice heard. If you cannot come, please write testimony in oppposition to this variance request to Borough President Helen Marshall. The final stop for all of this is at the Board of Standards and Appeals sometime in the spring, which is where the decision will be made.