Committee to recommend denial of yeshiva application
Sep 23, 2015 | 8061 views | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At its meeting Monday night, the Land Use Committee of Community Board 5 decided to recommend to the full board it vote against an application by Glendale's United Talmudical Seminary to expand and build new dorms.

The yeshiva sits on a 135,000-square-foot manufacturing property at 74-10 88th Street. It hosts nearly 1,100 students on a daily basis and houses 360 in dorm rooms for overnight sleeping, eight to a room measuring 12 by 20 feet.

Yeshiva officials have submitted an application to turn its one-story building into four stories, increase the number of students who dorm overnight from 360 to 710, and expand the floor area for the school from 60,000 to 138,000 square feet.

The proposal has been met with community objections since neighbors uncovered that students have been sleeping in dorm rooms on the premises since 2006, which raised ire from some at the committee meeting.

Glendale resident Dawn Scala raised serious concerns about the continued use of the property for overnight sleeping while it is not allowed under current zoning. The committee agreed.

“The Community is extremely uncomfortable with how this facility was allowed to have dorms on the property, which is not zoned to have dorm rooms,” the committee's resolution read in part. “The hardship, which the Yeshiva claims they are facing, is self–imposed because they chose to change the use from a trade school to a Seminary.”

Opened originally in 2006 as a trade school, sleeping quarters for the students were not part of the original certificate of occupancy, according to an application on file with the Department of Buildings (DOB).

Likewise, a temporary certificate of occupancy issued in December of 2006 did not include dorm rooms, and there were also open violations that needed to be corrected according to DOB records. However, a later certificate of occupancy issued in January of 2008 had dorm rooms included.

The committee also felt that adding 700 people in a relatively small space would adversely affect the water and sewer infrastructure of that section of Glendale.

The committee will appear in front of the 50-person community board on October 14, at which time the full board will debate the issue.

“It seems that all the petitions signed asking the board to deny the application worked,” said Walter Sanchez, chairman of the Land Use Committee. “I am not sure if they will get the variance they request. It will go before the borough president for recommendation, and then to the Board of Standard and Appeals.”

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