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Developer Seeking Variance To Build Day Care Facility Faces Resistance From Community Board

The proposed daycare will be connected to a one-story commercial space. (SBLM Architects)

Feb. 14, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

A developer who plans to erect a two-story daycare facility and an adjoining commercial building in Glendale faced pushback from Community Board 5 last night after concerns were raised that the plan didn’t include enough parking spaces and could cause traffic to overflow onto Cooper Avenue. 

The developer, Manhattan-based Cayre Equities, presented its plans before the board as part of the process to obtain a zoning variance that would allow it to construct a mixed-use development at 79-66 Cooper Ave. The land is currently located in an M1 industrial zone, which does not typically allow for daycare facilities.

The new development would entail a 11,226 square foot two-story building, containing the daycare facility, connected to a one-story, 3,986 square foot commercial space.

The proposed development would sit at the front of a property that includes a self-storage facility, currently under construction, in the rear. Cayre is the developer for both projects and bought the parcel in 2014 for $9.18 million.

The daycare will occupy the same property as a self-storage facility. (SBLM Architects)

The daycare facility, which would consist of 15 classrooms and a fenced-in rooftop playground, would accommodate 167 children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age.

The development would come with 32 parking spaces that would be shared between the day-care facility and the commercial space. The adjacent storage facility will have its own separate parking area.

The board viewed the number of parking spaces as inadequate when members learned that the day care facility would employ 32 instructors and five staff members. 

Several board members were alarmed that there would be more employees than parking spaces. They were concerned that parents wouldn’t be able to find parking and that cars would get backed up and clog up Cooper Avenue.

Members said that traffic at that section of Cooper Avenue is already congested since many people double park in the area to drop of their children at a dance studio and gym located across the street from the proposed daycare facility.

However, a representative of the daycare operator, Children of America, which currently runs 64 childcare facilities across 12 states, including locations in Jackson Heights and Queens Village, said that parking will be adequate based on its other Queens locations.

Plans call for 32 parking spaces. (SBLM Architects)

Members of the public also raised concerns about the development’s impact on the heavily trafficked Cooper Avenue.

Board Chair Vincent Arcuri proposed a possible solution to the traffic issue. He said the DOT could install two traffic signals: one at 79th Place and one at the exit of the daycare on Cooper Avenue, near 80th Street.

The Transportation Committee will review the development plans and provide recommendations to mitigate potential traffic and parking problems.

The developer will present its plans before the board’s Zoning and Land Use Committee Meeting, a date that has yet to be set, before coming back to the full board for a vote.

The community board’s vote is not binding but will be taken into consideration when the Board of Standards and Appeals makes its ruling as to whether or not to grant the variance.

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