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Bayside residents told Community Board 11 members that they were outraged at controversial plans to construct a Korean church on a residential street in the community during the board’s monthly meeting Monday.
The church, which is located at 26−18 210th St. in Bayside, has been a source of controversy after residents said that the site would be out−of−character with the neighborhood in which it is being built and warned of future traffic problems.
The property, at which an alteration of an existing home was originally proposed, underwent a change of occupancy and use on March 16 and will now house Jesus Covenant Church, according to the DOB. The foundation for the church, an as−of−right project, has already been built.
“The mortgage issued to the property was only to be approved for a private residence,” said Cathy Santis, who lives near the church site. “They are working there during off hours and the Department of Buildings comes a day or two later, which doesn’t help a bit.”
The city is currently auditing the application and has yet to determine the number of parking spaces for the church. The deed for the property lists Kyung Jin and Kwan Ok Chung as its purchasers. The pastor of a Jesus Covenant Church on Flushing’s Francis Lewis Boulevard said the two institutions were interrelated.
“We are trying to do everything we can,”Iannece said. “This has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion.”
The East Bayside Homeowners Association recently held a meeting on the church at which members discussed various ways to fight its construction, including a letter writing campaign to Queens newspapers and petitions.
Frank Skala, president of the civic, said the group would hold another meeting on the matter later this month.
At its meeting, CB 11 also voted 26−17 in favor of restoring seven Douglaston streets to their original names after the city gave them numerical designations more than 80 years ago. The 111th Precinct and several board members had said they were concerned that the new names could make it difficult for emergency responders to find homes.
“I understand people’s concerns, but the people in that area really want it,” CB 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said. “It’s an historic area. If the powers that be in the NYPD and Fire Department don’t think it will cause confusion, I don’t think it’s an issue.”
Under the proposal, 235th Street between the north and south side of Douglaston Parkway along the Long Island Railroad will become Main Avenue, while 240th Street between 43rd Avenue and Depew Avenue will be changed to Prospect Avenue. In addition, 242nd Street between 43rd and 44th avenues will become Hamilton Avenue, 243rd Street between 44th Avenue and Depew Street will change to Orient Avenue, 44th Avenue between Douglaston Parkway and 244th Street will be Church Street, 43rd Avenue between the intersection of Douglaston Parkway, 240th and 243rd streets will change to Pine Street and 42nd Avenue between the LIRR’s dead end and 243rd Street will become Poplar Street.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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