Yeshiva Decision Put Off Until End Of February
The battle between a developer and Bayswater residents continues as a city agency puts off a decision until later this month on whether to allow an application for several variances that would permit the building of a three-story yeshiva in Bayswater.
On January 24 the Board of Standards and Appeals heard further testimony from lawyers from the law office of Frederick A. Becker, which represents the developer USA Outreach Corporation. While the agency requested some minor changes from the developer before making their decision, the case is deemed closed.
“The applicant was asked by the Board at the last hearing to make specific, minor changes to the drawings,” said Jeff Mulligan, executive director of the BSA, in an email to this newspaper on Tuesday. “Since the changes are minor, the drawings can be submitted after the hearing has been closed, but before the vote.”
The case came to the city agency late last year after the Bayswater Civic Association and Community Board 14 voted against the variances. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall has also recommended not approving the variances.
The changes requested by the BSA have to be sent to the Bayswater Civic Association which has the opportunity to respond to them.
Enid Glabman, the president of the Bayswater Civic Association, admitted that the community is not 100 percent against the yeshiva.
“The majority of the Bayswater Civic Association and the people who live here [are against building the yeshiva] and we fought for the downzoning. These people [the developers] want to change the zoning and ignore laws.”
Glabman claims it is the community connected with the yeshiva that is for the variances. She says that currently the yeshiva is divided among six different locations.
“Why wouldn’t they be for it?” Glabman asked.
Glabman added, “Our position hasn’t changed. We don’t want the dormitory …. There’s no reason for it.”
If approved many residents, like Glabman, believe that the yeshiva – which would be built in an R2 zone – would change the character of the neighborhood.
In her recommendation, Marshall said, “The increased amounts of vehicular and pedestrian traffic generated by such a large community facility would not be appropriate in this single family detached home neighborhood; the proposed community facility is out of character and scale with the surrounding neighborhood. The building as proposed, while three stories, is 55 feet in height, which would still make it the tallest and densest structure on its block and blocks around it.”
The BSA is scheduled to take a vote on the issue at a meeting on February 28.