Grace representatives, after facing rejection from Community Board 11 and Borough President Helen Marshall last year as well as disapproval from state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), took the application to expand their current facility to the last agency that can permit the construction. If the Board of Standards and Appeals votes down the application in a decision expected June 7, the church's last resort is to file in Appellate Court.The church filed an application last May to renovate the current 11,538-square-foot building at 216-50-56 28th Ave., adding 16,214 more square feet and an additional 844 seats in new chapels, classrooms and other rooms in order to accommodate the church's 500-member congregation, which church leaders say is outgrowing the existing space.While the community has opposed the plan based on traffic, parking, congestion and infrastructural concerns, church representatives reminded the board Tuesday that their application is only to allow Grace to build on the bed of Little Neck Boulevard, a mapped and closed private street that runs through the property. The existing church is housed in the former Bayside Yacht Club, which was built onto the street, according to plans filed with the city."The building that's being proposed will comply with zoning in all respects," said Sheldon Lobel, the church's lawyer, at the hearing. As a community facility, the church is exempt from residential zoning laws, including the strict regulations set forth in the recent rezoning of Bayside.Ne
©2005 Community News Group
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