Friday, September 2, 2016
Mosque variance going to court
From the Queens Chronicle:
The Kissena Park Civic Association and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) are considering filing an Article 78 lawsuit over a controversial plan to build a mosque in Flushing at 46-05 Parsons Blvd.
The group behind the plan, Masjid e-Noor, sought approvals for variances from the Board of Standards and Appeals, which has not yet published the resolution that includes the waivers and conditions for the project. All of the waivers sought were approved, according to BSA spokesman Ryan Singer.
“They got what they were asking for,” Singer told the Chronicle.
The site is a small, unusually shaped lot at the corner of 46th Avenue and Parsons Boulevard.
The lawsuit — which would aim to overturn the BSA’s decision — has to be filed within 30 days after the agency publishes its resolution with the waivers and conditions for the project, which it will do early next week, according to Singer.
“The Board of Standards and Appeals approved the applicant’s request to waive regulations pertaining to maximum floor area regulations, front yard and height and setback to permit a house of worship to be built at 46-05 Parsons Blvd in Queens,” Singer said in an emailed statement. “The building did not change during the hearing process although waivers were added to accommodate the proposed dome.”
The variances sought were for parking, floor area ratio, sky exposure plane, side yard and other construction regulations. Community Board 7 rejected the plan after members of the board tried to get the applicants to consider another site.
Singer insisted that the proposal was considered as any other would be.
“The Board treated this application with the same rigor as any other before it and found that it met the findings for a variance,” he said.
“We have a situation where the city is letting this particular group and this mosque go forward by waiving the building codes applicable to them,” Carsten Glaeser, the vice president of the KPCA, said.
The civic association, he added, is “trying to come up with money” for representation in court. According to Glaeser, other civic associations might get involved with the lawsuit.