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A group of 17 Bayside families has filed a lawsuit against the developer of a Korean church being constructed on 210th Street on the grounds that the structure would not comply with the city’s zoning and administrative codes.
In addition, City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) said the Emigrant Mortgage Co., which provided the loan for the church, plans to begin foreclosure proceedings at the site.
Bayside resident Anthony Naletilic said residents of the street where the church is being built have formed a block association and filed an order to show cause against the church to determine whether the site conforms with city zoning laws.
He told members of the East Bayside Homeowners Association at a meeting last week that the group was now waiting to see if the judge in the case would file a temporary injunction.
“We want to attempt to block the construction,” Naletilic said. “We hope to have enough time to prevent this.”
But Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said it would be difficult for the block association to defeat the church development in the courts.
“I’m not optimistic,” he said. “You might be able to get it scaled back, but this is an as−of−right project. The law is not on your side. It’s a tough battle.”
Avella told members of the homeowners association that the savings bank could foreclose on the site.
The bank could not be reached for comment.
“We hope they will live up to their promise of foreclosure on the property,” Avella said. “It’s amazing that a bank would do that. It’s a huge step. So, let’s see if they do it, though I have no reason to believe they won’t.”
The deed for the property, at 26−18 210th St. in Bayside, lists Kyung Jin and Kwan Ok Chung as its purchasers. The pastor of a Jesus Covenant Church in Flushing has said the two institutions are interrelated. A city Department of Buildings spokeswoman said the agency was auditing the church’s application and the number of parking spaces required for the site had yet to be determined.
An alteration to an existing home was originally proposed for the site, but it underwent a change of occupancy and use March 16, according to the DOB. The foundation of the project has already been built.
Residents along 210th Street have expressed concern that the church would be out of character in the neighborhood as well as create traffic and parking problems.
East Bayside President Frank Skala said his civic was putting together a petition against the church. The group will hold another meeting soon to determine its next course of action, he said.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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