Variance Approved in Anticipation of Area Rezoning

Project includes affordable housing and commercial development. Greater Allen Cathedral of New York and Allen AME Housing Corporation sought to construct a mixed-use project with affordable housing at 110-42 Merrick Boulevard directly across from the existing Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens. The proposed four-story development would include 54-units of affordable housing, ground floor commercial space, a community facility, and 53 parking spaces on a project site of 11 lots. Eight vacant commercial and residential buildings would be demolished to make way for the new building. The sites are currently zoned R3-2/C1-2, but the Planning Department has proposed to rezone the sites to R6A in 2005, as part of a comprehensive rezoning plan for Jamaica.

The Cathedral sought variances for the height, yard, setback, floor area, parking, loading, open space, and the number of residential units in the proposed development. In its application, the Cathedral noted that the Department of City Planning’s proposed zoning would permit this development as-of- right and claimed that funding constraints made waiting until the 2005 rezoning prohibitive.

The Board of Standards & Appeals unanimously approved, finding the Cathedral demonstrated a uniqueness in the site and its proximity to the Cathedral, which allowed the Cathedral to reduce building oversight costs.

BSA: 110-42 Merrick Boulevard (368-03-BZ) (September 14, 2004) (Eric Palatnik, P.C., for Allen AME Housing Corporation).

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