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SJU dorm faces new hurdles – QNS.com

SJU dorm faces new hurdles

By Howard Koplowitz

“It certainly is an interesting development and from my point of view a positive development,” said Padavan, a strong opponent of the dorm being built on Henley Road in Jamaica Estates.”The sewer is currently at capacity,” Padavan said. “It would not work.”He said DEP requested that the city Department of Buildings put a stop-work order on the dorm Dec. 21 because the sewer would be overwhelmed should the six-story dorm be completed.There was no notice of a stop-work order for the dorm on the Buildings Web site as of Sunday.Padavan called the existing eight-inch sewer “an impossible problem to solve” for St. John's, noting that constructing a large enough sewer “would cost millions.””I don't know how (the contractor is) going to solve it,” he said.St. John's would have 10 days to respond to a letter asking for a stop-work order.If the stop-work order goes through, the university would have to scale down its plans or it could abandon the project if what it is allowed to build there is not viable, Padavan said.The six-story, 485-bed dormitory has been unpopular with the community since residents found out about it at the end of last summer, but the proposed development is consistent with the neighborhood's zoning. The south side of Henley Road is zoned R5, which permits taller multi-unit buildings, but the north side is zoned R1-2 with its corresponding single-family detached houses.Neighbors have protested the project's out of scale character, along with the influx of new residents and the parking and traffic problems they are expected to bring. But most of all they are upset that St. John's undertook the project with a developer who agreed to lease the finished dorm to the school for 10 years, all without consulting the surrounding community.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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