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Bayside High should remove sign: CB 11

Community Board 11 voted to adopt one of its committee’s reports which found that an electronic LED sign near the front door of Bayside High School was illegal and should be taken down.

The board voted 32-5 in favor of adopting the ad-hoc committee’s report on the sign. Melvyn Meer, chairman of the committee, said Michael Athy, Bayside High School’s principal, had agreed to turn off the sign until the board made its decision.

“The sign is illegal and should be removed as soon as possible,” Meer said.

Board members said the school, at 32-24 Corporal Kennedy St., had been accommodating in the matter, but at least one resident in the audience said his complaints to Athy had been ignored.

The principal, who was at the meeting, kept his comments brief and said he wanted to hear from the community.

“I’m here to take notes,” he said.

The sign, which went up right before the beginning of the school year, was paid for with $33,000 raised through school alumni and private donations, the principal said.

Residents complained the structure, which was used for announcing PTA meetings and other events, was distracting to homes near the school.

“I think the sign is dangerous,” board member Frank Skala said. “Someone is going to be looking at it instead of the car in front of them and kill a kid.”

A city Department of Buildings spokeswoman said illuminated signs are not allowed in residential districts unless they are for a hospital or related facility.

Also at CB 11’s Monday meeting, Chairman Jerry Iannece said a planned Fairway Market will likely begin construction in May after a Waldbaum’s at the site, at 242-02 61st Ave. in the Douglaston Plaza Shopping Center, vacates the premises in March.

The new market will take up more than 55,000 square feet and create 300 new union jobs, said Jeffrey Chester, an attorney for Fairway.

The board was also updated on a controversial Korean church that is being built at 26-18 210th St. in Bayside.

Anthony Naletilic, who lives on 210th Street and is part of a group that is trying to halt the church’s construction, said the DOB could revoke plans for the house of worship.

“Hopefully, we can put a stop to this out-of-character development,” Naletilic said.

But a DOB spokeswoman said the agency had found one objection at the site during an audit. The church’s permit could be revoked if the property’s developer does not correct the objection within 10 days.

The nature of the objection was unclear, but the DOB spokeswoman said it was of “an administrative nature.”

Bayside residents said they were concerned the site would create parking problems along the street.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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