2012-03-02 / Top Stories

BSA Grants Bayswater Variance

By Miriam Rosenberg

After months of hearings in front of local groups, the community board and city agencies, developers were granted variances on Tuesday night that will allow them to build a three-story Yeshiva and dormitory in Bayswater, a facility that many local residents say would change the character of the area.

The Board of Standards and Appeals, (BSA), gave its approval for the developer, USA Outreach Corporation, to begin work on the Yeshiva at 1213 Bay 25 Street that the Bayswater residents have fought for two years to keep from being built.

“It’s such an aggravating situation,” said Enid Glabman, the president of the Bayswater Civic Association. “They had it wrapped up from day one.”

The case came to the BSA late last year after the Bayswater Civic Association and Community Board 14 voted against the variances. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall also recommended not approving the variances.

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.”

Glabman said she didn’t feel the BSA took into account anything presented to them by residents of the area.

“We brought many points to the board, they never really heard us,” said Glabman, who added that developers were asked to make only minor changes during the process. “The other side really never answered why they should get variances to allow a dormitory [our real concern] on a residential block.”

Glabman said “we are disappointed” and added “[the BSAs] rule is absolute.”

“I think our major thrust is the board is unelected and they make a decision that changes the entire character of a community,” said Glabman.

Glabman once again pointed out they were not opposed to the Yeshiva, but that it is too large for the area. “It’s the right building in the wrong place,” she said.

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