CB 7 approves Sky View variance

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The first two hours of Community Board 7’s Monday meeting at Union Plaza Care Center in Flushing could have been titled “The Development Follies.”

The board approved two development items Monday night prior to voting on the city’s plan to build a $1 billion police academy in College Point, but it probably should not have had to revisit the first issues.

In April, CB 7 approved plans giving the city the right to transfer land to five Willets Point businesses slated to move to the College Point Corporate Park. But according to city Economic Development Corp. Vice President Tom McKnight, who returned to the board Monday, the application was incomplete.

The city’s application left out a sliver of property, approximately 4,200 square feet of land slated to house a portion of Met Metals, forcing the EDC to begin the public approval process again for the tiny fraction of the proposal.

“They just missed a piece of property,” McKnight said. “It happens. The plan you reviewed, discussed and voted on remains the same. We just forgot to include this piece of property.”

McKnight said he was happy to take questions on the muffed proposal. He got one.

“Who does your title worki” CB 7 Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian asked, laughing.

The board approved the proposal unanimously.

Muss Development also sought a variance from the board on its massive Sky View Parc development in Flushing. Three of the projects’ six residential towers are already built, but the developer now needs a variance from the city Board of Standards and Appeals because the 14-story buildings pierce height restrictions set by the Federal Aviation Administration to protect flight paths of aircraft entering and leaving LaGuardia Airport.

Jerald Johnson, an attorney for Muss, presented a letter in which the FAA approved the buildings’ height, but another letter, from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, said the FAA had rescinded its decision.

“I’m at a loss here,” Apelian said. “A lot of phone calls have been made about this and we still don’t have any resolution.”

“I’m a little bit at a loss as well,” Johnson said. “No one has contacted us to tell us our FAA ruling is in error.”

In the end, the board approved the variance with a request that the confusion be ironed out before the BSA rules on it next month.

“It’s not like this is waiting for an application to be approved,” Apelian said. “The buildings are built. So either it’s good or it isn’t good. There’s not really a lot we as a board can do.”

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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