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Should A Controversial Mormon Church Be Allowed In Flushing?

Community members oppose the construction of an LDS church, but probably not for the reasons you think.

Bayside activists are dogmatic in their opposition to the construction of a Latter Day Saints Church in Flushing, but purportedly not for religious reasons.

If the church were to be built at 145-15 33rd Ave. as planned, it would account for 23,000 square feet of its neighborhood in Flushing, and have a 94-foot steeple. A protest held on March 8 drew many neighborhood preservationists, including Bayside Hills Civic Association President Michael Feiner. In Feiner's words:

It is about , this time with a Church that is asking for three variances to build a 23,000-square-foot building on the land it owns at 145-15 33rd Avenue. A 12,000-square-foot structure is allowed there under current zoning. The plan also calls for a 94-foot steeple, which would end up being one of the tallest structures in Queens.

We have to support the opposition for these variances for not for only the obvious reason, that this structure would not fit the character of the neighborhood and that the variances requested by the church go against zoning laws, but also the opposition is led by many of the people who supported us against the illegal home in the garden of a corner .

An urban planner who designed the area's zoning, Paul Graziano, worries that if the church is permitted by the Board of Standards and Appeals, "...it will set a precedent in all R1 and R2 districts throughout the city, allowing houses of worship to undo all of our hard work a decade ago in getting the Community Facilities Zoning Text Amendments passed."

In the analysis of Andy Rothman, a Community Board 11 member, the BSA approves "almost everything," regardless of what the Community Board, or Borough Presidents recommend.

Baysiders have historically been wary of new religious structures being built within residential neighborhoods, often citing parking concerns, as well as the effect of crowding and noise levels on home values. In 2009, the East Bayside Homeowners Association went to bat with Jesus Covenant Church, a Korean congregation. The New York Times authored a piece at the time that implied opposition to the church was less about zoning and parking, and more about its demographics.

The EBHA opposed the construction of a Chabad synagogue a few years prior, and the BCHA virulently opposed the construction of a .

Sara March 14, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Why can't they just stay within the zoning regulations?
Michael Feiner March 15, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I just wish everybody would take a look with their own eyes at this location before they post any opposition. What is being asked for makes no sense in that spot. That's all there is to it!
Francis Lewis March 18, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Sorry Mike, But it would be inconvenient for many of those commenting to "look with their own eyes" - they live in Utah! But don't worry, if their is a dispute about Sheep Ranching in Utah, you will be able to get on the Salt Lake City Patch and make comments.
Francis Lewis March 18, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Ray, If 'All the talk about the "character of the neighborhood" is pretty vague', it's probably because you don't live in the neighborhood. In 2009, there was a big political fight in our area about changing the zoning rules to keep neighborhoods of small single family homes from being destroyed by real estate operators ripping them down and replacing them with large concrete buildings. That's when the R2A rule that forbids so large a building was created. In fact, it would not have been allowed even under the old rule. Around here a lot of people like drums and guitars - but we don't appreciate people from other areas who attack the zoning protections that we struggled to achieve. This is an "area" variance request, not a "use" variance request. If you want to build a Mormon church on the plot that meets all of the zoning square footage and height requirements, go right ahead. There is nothing in the zoning rules that prohibits a church at this location.
Martin Z Fink April 26, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The Avellenees were all over the meeting insisting any church but theirs was a bank. A year ago, Kevin Walsh was picking on Greek and Bukharin temples. A decade ago Avella was picking on NEQ Chabad and Greek Holy Cross. A decade before that, Lopresto was calling the Armenian and Korean churches "catering halls" and objected to College Point Chabad "breeders". If they didn't try to lord them over us, the treasonable nature of their long roots might not be fair game. Flushing white trash were avid subscribers to the banned Brooklyn Eagle and der Sturmer, supporting lynchings on negroes. Flushing white trash sided with the enemy in Civil War, both world wars and now. Willets Point was the site of the famous September, 1861 Cresto Sassi Germani insurrection. Macedonia AME had to threaten St Michael's with DOUBLE retaliation. They created the Conservatives because they refused to vote for the party of Lincoln's "ni@@er war" or Ike's bombing their 'eternal' city. That's why Tom Bolan persecuted Adam Clayton Powell (to put his crony Rangel in) and Lyn Hermyle Larouche before joining Roy Cohn in sports racketeering.

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