By Steven Goodstein
More than 100 Bay Terrace residents, along with community leaders and elected officials, have voiced their displeasure with the plans for a future development that would include nearly 20 new apartment units and a day care center.
The Bay Terrace Community Alliance, supported by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside), drew a large turnout of concerned neighbors at a rally last Friday against the development proposal for 214-10 15th Ave. Residents fear their quality of life could be compromised in the coveted residential area.
The rally took place at the site of the proposed four-story, nearly 30,000-square-foot building which would have 18 apartment units and a day care center.
“Having a day care on this block would be a disaster for the residents on this street,” said Avella, who has vowed to stall the development process until the area is successfully rezoned. “I am in great support of having a day care center in this district but only if it matches the neighborhood’s identity, which it does not. It’s out of character.”
Avella also warned the community that chaos could envelop the one-way street from the day care center’s drop offs and pick ups.
The senator said he had been trying to reach the architect of the project, Tan Architect P.C., for over a week. He said he has spoken and set up a meeting with Dun Xing Zhang of Bayside 215th Realty, the owner and developer of the property.
Dun Xing Zhang could not be reached for comment.
The property was previously occupied by a pair of two-family homes which were located at 15-10 215th and 15-12 215th St. They were abandoned and had turned into a neighborhood eyesore.
The family homes have since been demolished and the two merged lots are currently vacant and surrounded by a construction wall.
The rally was attended by more than 100 Bay Terrace residents, along with elected officials, community leaders, and members of northeast Queens organizations.
According to Avella, this was the largest rally turnout for an overdevelopment issue he had ever attended.
The building would consist of a lobby, laundry and storage spaces along with an outdoor terrace to be located on the top floor.
The development, committing over 14,000 square feet for rental units and over 5,000 for the day care center, would also include an underground garage with 15 parking spaces.
The proposed on a one-way street complies with the block’s R5 zoning, which allows for this type of development.
R5 zoning permits higher density homes than the homes permitted in a R3-2 or R4 district — typically resulting in three- or four-story attached houses or apartments.
“This is a significant quality-of-life issue and the residents will be severely impacted,” said Braunstein. “It might be legal, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right.”
“This development will drastically change the character of this neighborhood and we’re here because we’re not going to tolerate it,” said Matthew Silverstein, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance.
On Monday, Silverstein and the Bay Terrace Community Alliance sent a letter to the city Department of City Planning, which supported Vallone and Braunstein’s request for a new rezoning study of the entire Bay Terrace community and highlighted their concerns about this proposal.
Reach Steven Goodstein by e-mail at sgood