Glendale yeshiva gets zoning violation from Buildings Department

One of the yeshiva's dorm rooms.
Photo courtesy Community Board 5

The dormitories at Glendale’s Yeshiva Godolah Seminary exceed legal limits, according to one city agency.

After Community Board 5 (CB 5) voted to recommend denying the yeshiva’s request for a zoning variance earlier this month, the school was hit with a violation from the Department of Buildings (DOB) for violating current zoning regulations by housing students within the school.

The yeshiva is located within an M1-1 zone, which does not allow for dorm facilities. The violation, issued on Oct. 16, is for the illegal conversion of the school to have dormitories outside of the zoning regulation.

“Based upon a recent audit, there is no intent to revoke issued,” a representative from the DOB told the Ridgewood Times. “The audit determined that the space used was nonconforming for a Use Group 9 facility. The violation is for occupancy contrary to the Certificate of Occupancy. The legality of the use of the dormitory space is currently under review.”

For months, the board and local residents raised concerns over the legality of the school’s dorm facilities, which are housing 360 students, and have even created an online petition to stop the proposed expansion. The yeshiva is currently looking for a zoning variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to increase the number of dorms to allow 710 students to stay overnight at the school.

Members of CB 5 reached out to DOB to send a complaint regarding the yeshiva’s dorm space.

“We, Community Board 5, submitted a complaint,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of CB 5. “It questioned whether or not they could have dormitory usage in an M1 zone when they were designated as a trade school. So then I followed it up with a couple of phone calls and I was told that the borough commissioner would audit the records of the yeshiva.”

The Ridgewood Times reached out to yeshiva representatives for comment and is awaiting a response. Check QNS.com for the latest updates on this story.