• June 25, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

BSA rules in favor of Target in Elmhurst

Says construction at 42-31 82 St. doesn’t violate zoning code

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:31 pm, Thu Jun 13, 2019.

The Target under construction at 42-31 82 St. does not violate zoning code.

That was the ruling of the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals on Tuesday morning in a 4-1 vote.

Zoning limits stores in the area to 10,000 feet but Target’s planned 23,000-square-foot store includes cellar space that isn’t counted.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-East Elmhurst) said she was “incredibly disappointed and outraged” by the decision, calling the BSA’s decision “a vote with real estate and a vote against our community.”

“This decision sets a dangerous precedent, paving the way for unregulated underground variety stores to be built in residential neighborhoods throughout the city, putting the safety of our communities and infrastructure at risk,” she said in a statement.

Ramos said her district has no hospitals and depends on a pair of one-way streets surrounding the site as thoroughfares for ambulances to reach NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst a block away.

“Our ambulance response times, especially in East Elmhurst, are dangerously and sometimes fatally long,” she said. “Traffic that will come along with Target as a tenant will exacerbate our healthcare access.”

Ramos said an appeal will be filed with New York State Supreme Court.

Councilman Francisco Moya (D-Corona) also released a statement against the vote.

“It’s a mistake allowing organizations to use cellar space as a loophole to skirt zoning rules,” he said. “Any interpretation of the zoning text that permits this loophole is ignoring the spirit of the regulation.”

Moya is chairman of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises and he said he’ll be “looking into updating the zoning text to protect against this loophole.”

The plan has been opposed by Queens Neighborhoods United, an anti-gentrification group against the construction of the building because the activists say it will hurt small businesses in the area.

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