Monday, August 25, 2014

Affordable housing project requires unpopular variance

From the Times Ledger:

The city Board of Standards and Appeals is in the final stages of reviewing the application presented by the St. Albans Presbyterian Church and a Westchester-based developer to erect an affordable housing building on Farmers Boulevard.

During a review session Aug. 19, one of the board members questioned the parking demand study forwarded by the developer, an analysis concluding that “31 percent of the residents of the area commute by subway, but there is no subway in the vicinity.”

She added that “I don’t have a good idea what transportation alternatives are in the area.”

Sharon Johnson, of the St. Albans Civic Improvement Association, said the project “is not compatible with the zoning regulations in the area.”

To begin construction, the church is seeking zoning variances involving maximum building height, maximum dwelling unit and minimum parking. The project involves building a 67-unit structure of one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as a community center at ground level.

The plan calls for an affordable housing, five-story building construction on two empty lots on Farmers Boulevard between 118th and 119th avenues.

The area is zoned for low-residential units, and it is characterized by having one- and two-story homes along Farmers Boulevard as well as local stores.

Mike Pope, who lives approximately 400 feet from the site and opposes the project, said that if the developer and the church are serious about affordable housing, “they can build 23 units in two-story buildings within zoning regulations.”

Pope added that the “current zoning regulations should not be altered to allow for this monstrosity in the middle of Farmers Boulevard.”


Anonymous said...

"but there is no subway in the vicinity.”

Yea they take the bus to the subway. Poor housing this far out, and small units? Yea a lot of them probably can't afford a car.

Saul said...

Being "serious about affordable housing" means making room for people about cars. There are social and economic bases on which one might reasonably object to this development, but Mr. Pope is either confused or being disingenuous.

Anonymous said...

Community Board 1 in Queens will advise the developers - show them how to build the property a few feet into the neighbors' yards and make sure to act stupid and blind if a historic building is to be demoed to boot.

Anonymous said...

Maximizing the rentable square feet is what its all about.

Pushing the zoning so the sky literally becomes the limit is the goal here - profit or non-profit.

The incremental cost of a extra floor is very small relative to its potential income.

Anonymous said...

Will this be another "afffordable" project serving people who make twice (or more) what I make? Also, why are these always 1-2 bedroom? Why not more? Just wondering... 'cause I have three kids (and a house).

Anonymous said...

No more renters PLEASE in this area. It used to be quiet and now we're getting booming noise more garbage on the streets and the pants saggers hanging out in the streets doing nothing but causing trouble all day long. When you work hard to own your own house you want to come home and relax at the end of the day. My property value is tanking because of this kind of building. NO MORE!

Anonymous said...

Anon #6: Your property value, and those of almost all other properties, will tank even more, thanks to the airports decision to fly airplane much lower over Queens, making life in Queens unbearable.