State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) again has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney of the Southern District Preet Bharara to review the Board of Standards and Appeals for possible improper conduct because its chairwoman appeared at the opening for a mosque that the agency approved.
Queens ChronicleThe letter, sent last Friday, was written days after the BSA said it had granted variances for the mosque, which is set to be built at 46-05 Parsons Blvd. Flushing, Queens. The group planning to build the oversized mosque (below), Masjid e-Noor, has been in conflict with Flushing residents for almost two years.
Avella has been on the front line against the mosque since it was proposed, Avella said he would support a lawsuit against the BSA that would be filed by the Kissena Park Civic Association.
The mosque wants to change the mandated floor area ratio of 0.5 in the R2 district to 1.045. It also wants to cut down a tree and waive the yard and parking requirements. The group sought approvals for variances from the Board of Standards and Appeals and all were approved .
Avella thinks the mosque has been given special treatment and wants to sue to overturn the decision. “The number of variances and severity that the proposed mosque sought was clearly out of character. I believe political influence governed their decision. The BSA was clearly out of bounds,” he said.
Avella said the community believes the mosque is too big for the piece of property it will sit on. “It’s right next to two-story homes, it will dwarf buildings in area and potentially cause significant traffic in the area,” he said. “It’s too small a site. Variances for sky exposure plane, parking, side yard and floor area ratio were all granted to Masjid-e-Noor, the group behind the Flushing proposal.
“The Board of Standards and Appeals has a long history of not only not paying attention to the wishes of the community but also ignoring the facts in favor of helping developers and/or other entities get their variances even if they’re not deserved,” land use expert Paul Graziano said.
According to designated terrorist group CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, “opposition to mosque construction is often Islamophobic.” “We always hear that the opposition has nothing to do with it being a mosque or a school or a Muslim cemetery until you scratch the surface and you almost always find a level of anti-Muslim bias,” Hooper said.
In 2012, the Muslim speakers at the Muslim Day Parade in NYC were so outrageous, that State Senator Tony Avella, who was scheduled to speak, abruptly stormed off the stage in disgust.
Avella said, “I was deeply offended by the various remarks that were made during the on stage presentation and felt they were an attack on our country as well as the State of Israel and were anti-Semitic in nature and as a result I left the stage in protest. In addition, I immediately wrote the Parade Committee the next day on Monday indicating my outrage.”