A project to build a three-story Korean church on a tiny property in Little Neck appeared to be moving forward despite loud community opposition to the size of the proposed facility, a spokeswoman for the Buildings Department said.
While the developers agreed to address problems with inadequate parking and a proposed 12-foot spire, Buildings Department spokeswoman Ilyse Fink said the city Department of Transportation had been asked to investigate traffic problems in the area and whether or not the new house of worship would have a negative impact.
A stop work order on the project, which has been in place for several months, continues to be in force, Fink said, because there are concerns about what the work did to a neighbors garage its somewhat damaged. Were looking into that.
Plans for the new Eunhae Presbyterian Church on 249th Street in Little Neck sparked controversy in the neighborhood when work began earlier this year.
Spearheaded by the Little Neck Pines Civic Association and Community Board 11 in Little Neck, the effort to scale down the Korean church project has included petitions by residents and meetings with the borough president.
Plans for the new house of worship include a three-story, 20,000-square-foot facility with a total occupancy of about 1,200 people.
Only 32 parking spaces for the structure were included in paperwork filed with the city, and the planned 12-foot spire caused CB 11 Chairman Bernard Haber to question the total height of the building. At 62.5 feet, he said it was the equivalent of a seven-story building.
The architect for the project, Wallace Kubec of Diffendale & Kubec Architects on Staten Island, said in a telephone interview in July the plans were altered to shift a proposed 12-foot spire 18-feet to the south, putting it closer to the commercially-zoned Northern Boulevard.
Fink said the planners have agreed to resolve the parking dilemma by either adding a parking attendant to help maneuver cars or by increasing the amount of space designated for parking. She said it was up to the project developers to decide which option they preferred.
The Eunhae Presbyterian Church has been on Farrington Street in Flushing for 10 years and sought out a new location because its lease is up at the end of 2001. Construction for the Little Neck building is being done by Eugene Chi, a contractor with the Whitestone-based Kang Suk Construction.
The property at 249th Street stretches behind stores and the Little Neck-Douglaston public library to Marathon Parkway and is in close proximity to homes. The lot, which also takes in land facing Northern Boulevard, is split between a residential and commercial zone.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2001 Community News Group
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