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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

123 East 55th Street, (Central Synagogue)(b/t Park and Lex. Ave), application for variance to permit the expansion of an existing nine-story non-complying community facility building that requires floor area and height setback waivers.

WHEREAS, Central Synagogue has applied for a variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals pursuant to §§ 33-12, 81-211, and 33-432 of the Zoning Resolution to permit the expansion of an existing nine story community facility that requires floor area and height and setback waivers; and,

WHEREAS, The proposed enlargement is a two-story, 7,129.62 sf expansion (the existing structure is 46, 216 sf) of the community house located on 123 East 55th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues); and,

WHEREAS, The surrounding neighborhood is composed of mixed residential and commercial uses, and the specific block has a mix of high-rises and  nineteenth century row houses all with commercial uses; and,

WHEREAS, Educational and religious services conducted by Central Synagogue are  beneficial to the public welfare and, under New York law, are therefore entitled to a preferred status under local zoning laws; and,

WHEREAS, The proposed enlargement is needed to meet the Synagogue’s current programmatic needs, including interfaith meetings, school classes, and continuing adult education; and,

WHEREAS, 2,000 families are members of Central Synagogue with many residing within Community Board Five; and

WHEREAS, The Synagogue’s senior rabbi has indicated that the Synagogue’s current limit on the number of families would be continued and, accordingly, any further expansion of the community facility would not be required; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the application by the Central Synagogue at 123 East 55th Street requesting a variance for floor area and height setback waivers for an expansion of an existing non-complying community facility building.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 31 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 abstaining, 3 present but not entitled to vote.

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