Aeronautics school gets variance for new dorm

New dormitory next to LaGuardia to house 200 students. The Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology operates a school on a sevenacre site at 90th Street and Ditmars Boulevard opposite LaGuardia Airport in Queens. Vaughn applied to BSA for a variance to build its first dormitory on an undeveloped portion of its lot. The three-story, 200- bed dorm would exceed height limits and yard requirements.

Vaughn argued that the proposed dorm was necessary to attract out-of-town students. Over its 74 years of operation in Queens, Vaughn has expanded from an airplane mechanics school to one of only 13 schools in the country to offer air traffic control classes for the FAA. It also offers engineering, management and aviation classes. Vaughn argued that the dorm would not change the character of the area, which it explained contained commercial uses, a church and a parking lot.

BSA granted Vaughn’s variance, noting that the school’s needs, along with the limitations of the site, created a hardship. Since Vaughn is a non-profit, it was not required to prove that an as-of-right development would fail to provide a reasonable return.

BSA: 22-40 90th Street (66-06-BZ) (August 22, 2006) (Slater & Beckerman, for Vaughn). CITYADMIN

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