2006-12-08 / Community

CB 14's Land Use Committee Tackles Development Issues

By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor


Mott Creek resident Fran Tuccio explains her objections about the development on Beach 5 Street. Also pictured are Mott Creek resident Susan Wagner and Fred Simmons, representing State Senator Malcolm Smith. 
Mott Creek resident Fran Tuccio explains her objections about the development on Beach 5 Street. Also pictured are Mott Creek resident Susan Wagner and Fred Simmons, representing State Senator Malcolm Smith. Community Board 14's Land Use Committee met on November 27 to address several issues that will be discussed at next week's full community board meeting.

Recommendations from the committee will be taken into account when the full board makes its land use decisions.

Yeshiva Siach Yitzcok has submitted two applications for variances that would allow it to build a new Yeshiva (religious school) at 10-45 Beach 9 Street in Far Rockaway.

"Yeshiva Siach Yitzcok has been in the community for 30 years," said Attorney Eric Platnik, who went on to say that the school has outgrown its current facility.

One variance calls for changing the front yard width from the "as of right" 15 feet to 9 feet 10 inches. There would be changes to the side yards on Dinsmore Avenue, and Platnik said they are seeking the ability to build up to the property line of a home on Beach 9 Street.

Eric Platnik, the attorney for Yeshiva Siach Yitzcok, explains to CB 14's Land Use committee the variances his clients are requesting.
Eric Platnik, the attorney for Yeshiva Siach Yitzcok, explains to CB 14's Land Use committee the variances his clients are requesting. In order to add needed classroom space, Platnik's clients are also looking to build four floors instead the "as of right" three, and they also want to be granted the ability to build approximately one and a half feet into the bed of a mapped street.

"This will enable them to grow," he said. "They'll be good for 10 to 15 years by building a facility for the foreseeable future."

The school currently has 180 students and expects to increase its enrollment to 300 students.

Platnik pointed out the Yeshiva has the backing of the Queens Jewish Community Council, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, the West Lawrence Civic Association and signatures of support from 100 area residents.

Also before the committee was a request to continue construction, under common-law vested rights, of a building on Beach 5 Street despite a September 2005 downzone of the area.

The steel structure on Beach 5 Street, on which developers are seeking to continue work, is seen in this August 2005 photo.The steel structure on Beach 5 Street, on which developers are seeking to continue work, is seen in this August 2005 photo. According to Mott Creek residents the building had a stop work order on it previous to the 2005 downzoning and the property owned by Boymelgreen and Beachfront Community LLC, has remained dormant since before the downzone occurred.

"The building there now was not built to code," said Fran Tuccio, a resident of the area. "They were supposed to correct certain things by a certain time. They haven't touched it at all."

Tuccio said the center part of the huge building was to be taken down along with the top floors by November 22, 2005.

"We not against developing," Tuccio said. "We'd like them to put in some nice two-family homes with backyards and parking, but this is a beachfront community and we want it to stay a beachfront community."

The three-block development would go east to west on Beach 5 Street and east on Beach 6 Street. It would add 60 families to the area.

Assuming two cars to each family, Tuccio said the extra 120 cars would be a hardship on the area.

"Seagirt Avenue is already sinking into the wetlands," Tuccio told committee members.

"I don't understand why a building that was built incorrectly and is not in compliance with the old zoning is being allowed to be used as a vested interest," she questioned.

Joining Tuccio was fellow Mott Creek resident Susan Wagner and Fred Simmons, representing State Senator Malcolm Smith.

No representatives for the developers attended the meeting.

The committee will recommend that the full board accepts the Yeshiva's applications. It will also recommend sending the Bureau of Standards and Appeals (BSA) a letter from the board supporting the Mott Creek community's efforts to stop the development.

The board will also hear from city representatives about the eventual sale of the property on Beach 58 Street where the closed firehouse stands.

Community Board 14's monthly meeting is open to the public.

It will take place on Tuesday, December 12 at the Knights of Columbus Hall at Beach 90 Street and will begin at 7:45 p.m.

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