Saturday, April 26, 2014

St. Albans Civic protests variance for oversized housing

From the Queens Chronicle:

Moments before leaving for Albany on Tuesday evening, state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-South Ozone Park) offered to help mediate the ongoing dispute between the Presbyterian Church of St. Albans and neighbors over a proposed 5-story senior housing complex that the church wants to build on Farmers Boulevard.

He should have stayed another 20 minutes, as the meeting, hosted by the St. Albans Civic Association, erupted into a nearly five-minute shouting match before about 30 church members walked out of the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club.

The land in question is at 118-27/47 Farmers Blvd. in a neighborhood containing mostly one- and two-family houses.

The church wants the 67 units to house senior citizens who are being forced by circumstances to raise their grandchildren. There also would be space for a community center and some of the church’s social service programs.

Residents fear that 67 units could bring into a small plot of land more than 200 new residents, who they believe could overwhelm area schools, parking availability, infrastructure and services.

Under city zoning regulations, the church could build 22 units in three stories or fewer with about 26 parking spaces. But developers sought and received variances for height, allowable floor space and parking from Community Board 12 in November.

The final approval now must come from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals. Harrigan said no hearing is yet on the BSA’s calendar, but that he wants to bring at least 25 residents to speak in opposition when a hearing does take place.


Anonymous said...

The keyword here is church. There is no city agency that will ever say no to a church. They can get any variance they want. You'll see.

We had the same situation with a mormon church that wanted to build a 20,000 building with "community facilities" in the midst of 1 family homes.

The community was 100% against it and followed then through the whole application process. When they got to the BSA, they wouldn't even listen to the people. All they had to see was church and everything was approved.

The laws need to be changed so that religious freedom doesn't mean churches and do whatever they want and don't have to follow laws that everyone else has to.

georgetheatheist said...

Amen. I'll drink to that.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Presbyterian, which gives me perfect freedom to say these words, this is a denomination that has strayed far from its roots.

The governing body, the presbytery, does little besides churn out the same tired liberal garbage for decades - and its membership have walked out in droves until attendance is a shadow of even a few decades ago.

The ministers do very little: their lush compensation of often $100k p.a. for what amounts to perhaps an easy day's work a week.

No comparison between their workload and, for example, Catholic priests.

A frantic presbytery, desperate to keep their cushy jobs, looking at their more than 100 church locations, some on prime real estate, have formed plans to consolidate them to about 10% of that number.

They see real estate that can be sold and its a program they will pursue. They could sale to another rapidly growing (conservative) presbytery sect, or to another denomination, Queens has many operating out of former storefronts and factories (as we all know) but not get as much as if they sold to developers.

The bottom line is that churches were granted generous exemptions with the understanding that they would do more than protecting the salaries of a bloated no nothing bureaucracy.

Needless to say, the politicians will support them against the interest of the community every time.

Go to the chipped remnant of the Astoria Presbyterian Church that expresses what the Presyterian Church, HANAC, local politicians and finance institutions think of the local community.

Birds of a like feather, folks.

Anonymous said...

The church wants the 67 units to house senior citizens who are being forced by circumstances to raise their grandchildren.

Translation: Mamma is a crackhead, and we dont know who daddy is.

Anonymous said...

>Translation: Mamma is a crackhead, and we dont know who daddy is.

Well if someone is willing to try and give baby a bit of attention and keep them from becoming a crackhead too without costing the city 100K per year maybe they should be accommodated.

Anonymous said...

You cannot expect the (remnants of) middle class to stay in the boroughs when every time you turn around developers are given variances to build three times the allowable space in middle class single family neighborhoods. Of course the people will give up and move to other jurisdictions where they can raise their families in peace, knowing the rules will be followed and their neighborhoods won't be overwhelmed and brought down by overcrowding