A rendering of the proposed Yeshiva Zichron Aryeh provided to Community Board 14. The Jewish boys’ school is asking for a zoning variance to build the facility in Far Rockaway.
A proposal to build a multi-story school for Jewish boys in Far Rockaway is facing resistance from the community.
Bayswater residents are opposed to the Yeshiva Zichron Aryeh’s request for a zoning variance that will allow the group to build a roughly 60-student dormitory above the school. The site is located at 1213 Bay 25th St. in a residential neighborhood.
The city Board of Standards and Appeals is slated to vote on whether to allow the exception on Tuesday following a series of hearings.
“The yeshiva is welcome in our community as long as it goes by the current zoning,” said City Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton), who added that the neighborhood has a strong Jewish presence. “What is being proposed, we believe, will change us radically.”
Community Board 14, which represents the Rockaway peninsula, voted against the yeshiva’s application in October.
“The community didn’t really have a problem with the school,” said District Manager Jonathan Gaska. “It had a problem with the dormitory, height of the building and the lack of off-street parking.”
Gaska said the community board members were also worried that the students could become rowdy.
The city down zoned the area in 2006 to preserve the aesthetics of the neighborhood.
Repeated calls and emails to yeshiva officials were not immediately returned.
In a letter to the community board last year, lawyers for the yeshiva wrote that the school will “not burden” the community.
“The proposed development will not have any adverse impact on the neighborhood or surrounding buildings or occupants,” the letter stated, “but is compatible with existing and future development in the area.”
But Enid Glabman, president of the Bayswater Civic Association, which represents several hundred families, said a project like this will be out of context with the surrounding neighborhood.
“We had no objection to the yeshiva building being built,” she said. “But we are opposed to the variances that would provide for a higher building than anything in the area.”
“It will change the character of the neighborhood,” Glabman said. “The quality of life will not be the same.”