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After being halted by the city Buildings Department for nine months, construction on a Korean church in Little Neck was set to resume this week, a Buildings spokeswoman said.
The project to build a new house of worship in Little Neck for the Flushing-based Eunhae Presbyterian Church began in May 2001 but sparked controversy when the community protested the buildings proposed size: three-stories and 20,000 square feet.
Neighbors of the project at 43-37 249th St. also opposed the construction because it provided limited parking and was close to nearby homes. The Little Neck Pines Civic Association could not be reached for comment as of press time Tuesday.
The group has agreed to supplement the originally planned 32 parking spots with valet parking and the rental of an additional 26-space parking lot behind a nearby store, architect Wallace Kubec said last week. Kubec said construction was expected to restart sometime this week.
Not much else has changed in the groups plans, he said.
The property at 249th Street stretches behind stores and the Little Neck-Douglaston public library to Marathon Parkway and is close to homes. The lot, which also includes land facing Northern Boulevard, is split between a residential and commercial zone.
In addition to providing a second parking lot, the church agreed last year to shift a planned 12-foot spire which then-CB 11 Chairman Bernard Haber said would make the height of the building equivalent to seven stories closer to Northern Boulevard and the commercial side of the lot, Kubec said.
The Eunhae Presbyterian Church has been on Farrington Street in Flushing for 10 years and sought out a new location because its lease ended in December. Construction for the Little Neck building is being carried out by Eugene Chi, a contractor with the Whitestone-based Kang Suk Construction.
Kubec, of the Staten Island firm Diffendale & Kubec Architects, said last Thursday construction had not immediately resumed because the groups permits had expired during the Buildings Department stoppage.
In the meantime, as part of an agreement with the Buildings Department, the contractors were doing foundation work on a neighbors garage. The garage had been damaged during the beginning of the project.
That neighbor, Roberta Schroder, said she was disappointed that the size of the project had not been scaled back by the city.
I have no problem with a church [being built] in there, but the sheer size of it and the way the construction company has been going about its business, its not right, she said. I think they should show a little more concern for the neighbors.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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