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.


Paul Graziano


Anonymous said...

Can you give more specific information on where both lots (the one subject to the variance hearing and the other lot owned where no variance is needed) are located.

Anonymous said...

I've got an urgent call to hit the bathroom...'cause Floo-shing's already a shit hole thanks to our Asiatic "friends".

Introducing colonizing by religious

BIG CHURCH is coming soon.
They've got BIG BUCKS to make it happen!

Queens Crapper said...

145-13 33rd Ave. is the proposed lot.

The current lot is 144-27 Sanford Ave.

Anonymous said...

Oh I don't know...
maybe the Morman Tabernacle Choir will visit and sing for Peter Koo's re-election.


And the Parkside group will join in for a $$$$$$ raising solo.

Anonymous said...

Flooding and giant churches?

Sounds to me like the nabe is going down hill.

Maybe it's time to sell and move.

Anonymous said...


The board of the rubber stamp!

"Next applicant, please"!

"follow the buck" Chuck said...

"It's not on our side of the avenue.

What to you think neighbor Liu?

I wonder if I can get the Mormnon's printing contracts".

Anonymous said...

Now we know what Romney's tithes go to...

Anonymous said...

ALL churches need to start paying taxes. Enough already.

Anonymous said...

Gee. We would love to help but every time some developer or politician is ready to shit on us everyone else's attention is distracted.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Just remember...These churches are exempt from taxes. Who do you think pays for all of this? The taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I hear Pete Valllone's law firm wants to sell refurbished contaminated land to a developer that will FLOOD Whitestone with about a hunderd more houses. Anybody want to help stop this debacle?

georgetheatheist said...

"ALL churches need to start paying taxes. Enough already."

Here's why houses of worship are tax EXEMPT:

Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York

It's argued that there is LESS intrusion of government in religion by this exemption than if the the institution were taxed.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

what a shame -

Anonymous said...

I hear Pete Valllone's law firm wants to sell refurbished contaminated land to a developer that will FLOOD Whitestone with about a hunderd more houses. Anybody want to help stop this debacle?

To late his brothe has already set up shop and the current councilman is peters lap dog who will agre to anything the VALLONES say!

Good luck Whitestone for you are FCKD!

georgetheatheist said...

See? The argument has to be made that taxing the real estate that houses of worship own does NOT violate the 1st Amendment clause about impeding the free exercise of religion.

Any smart thinkers out there who could brain-storm this?

In the meantime, of course, your property taxes subsidize the house of worship which gets a free ride.

Anonymous said...

An Osmon family
retro-reunion...Mormon style.

Bring 'em in or rather Brigham in!

Mao was right.
"Religion is poison"....especially when it's tax free...like in America!

He didn't say anything about the Communist Party Church he established.

In the end, we are all destined to be led like sheep if we become the lambs of government.

So who needs religion...eh by "George"?

a Dutch Kills resident said...


Did you say hearing?
I can't hear too good.

We've never seen you answer our urgent calls to attend our hearings, you northeast snobs!

Anonymous said...

Isn't this primarily the business of that, LOL, "civic group" run by John Liu?

In real estate, location is always the key.

This neighborhood is way too close to the rim of the canyon of downtown Flushing to be a good long term investment.

It's "residential" character has already been eroded to the point of corrosion.

If anyone still wants "Olde Flushing", then move to Vermont.

georgetheatheist said...

In any event, the Supreme Court hasn't addressed the issue of residential zoning ordinances and their effect on a religion's real estate expansion activity.

If the variance is granted, I assume, the camel will have gotten it's nose under the tent. Indeed, bye-bye "Olde Flushing" - or what's left of it.

If the variance is denied, the LDS will probably gin up their legal eagles with the argument that "government" is interfering in the free exercise of their religion. That should make for interesting future legal decisions based on the 1st Amendment.

This may play out national this year with a possible Mormon on the Republican ticket. Get the popcorn. Should be interesting viewing.

Cav said...

George said:
"If the variance is denied, the LDS will probably gin up their legal eagles with the argument that "government" is interfering in the free exercise of their religion. That should make for interesting future legal decisions based on the 1st Amendment."

Fighting this issue out through the courts will take years and the legal fees would be astronomical. And as well we all know, time is money.

Allow me to offer this characteristically cynical alternative scenario, FWI and IMHO, as I gaze into my crystal ball and predict the future... *cue the theremin music*

It would be cheaper, easier and quicker for LDS and/or the developer, to make sure certain elected officials and key persons in the DoB and BSA are well taken care of through campaign donations (for the electeds) and under the table payouts for the appratchiks.

The best case scenario for the LDS is that miraculously, the CB, DoB, BSA and the local pols see the light and grant the variance. The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways...

The work takes place anyway, obstensibly within the area zoning. However, it will soon become clear that zoning violations are taking place. The politicians will show up to the site and pay lip service to denouncing this outrage but take no real action. DoB inspectors will at intervals turn a blind eye to violations and SWOs or write a couple of citations that will never be paid. All the while, the construction will continue.

At a certain point, the work will have progressed to a point where the LDS and the developer will claim a hardship in taking down what has already been built. City officials will recognize this as a fait accompli, give it their blessing and the building will be completed as originally planned.

The only way this will not happen is that the LDS cannot or will not grease the proper palms.

Anonymous said...

To where and to who would I write a letter against this?

a Flushing resident said...

I think that "Dutch kills resident" bung hole is smoking a vanilla "Dutch" or something stronger!

So let me be "blunt"...
we've showed up for your causes many times but you never seem to want to return the favor!

So in the future...FU fella...
you're on your own!

Anonymous said...

Put these people in jail. Please.