By Ayala Ben-Yehuda
The Bayside Dialysis Center has been making changes to its expansion plans in hopes that the city Board of Standards and Appeals will approve a zoning variance for the center next month.
The center, which has operated at 201-10 Northern Blvd. since 1983, is seeking to expand 1,841 square feet into its rear yard to comply with what it says are new state Health Department regulations that require increased distance between dialysis stations.
Community Board 11, which covers Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens, Hollis Hills and part of Auburndale, voted in February against recommending a zoning variance after neighbors complained the center brought noisy deliveries and parking problems on 45th Avenue, a residential street facing the back of the center.
Borough President Helen Marshall also opposed the variance in March, saying it should be denied unless neighbors’ concerns about the project were satisfied.
Over the last two months, the center has been altering its plans in hearings before the Board of Standards and Appeals, which issues zoning variances.
In accordance with Marshall’s stipulation, all deliveries will now be moved to Northern Boulevard.
“The only thing that will be on 45th Avenue will be an emergency exit,” said Howard Hornstein, a partner in the law firm representing the dialysis center.
“This is a much better condition,” he said.
Other concessions by the dialysis center include putting a brick face on the back of the building instead of stucco as originally planned, and removing a canopy from the design that neighbors said was out of character with the area, Hornstein said.
Although she was pleased that the center had made some changes to its plans, 45th Avenue resident Mary Carballal said parking would still be a problem.
“In the end, no one was more realistic than those of us that live right here,” said Carballal, who nonetheless likened the situation of neighbors behind the dialysis center to “living in the back of the Flushing Hospital parking lot.”
Hornstein said parking was not in dispute under zoning regulations and the BSA had not raised the issue.
Carballal was pleased that pickups had been moved to Northern Boulevard.
“At least there won’t be any activity with truck traffic,” she said.
Both Carballal and Hornstein expected the BSA to approve the variance at a June 17 hearing.
Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.