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Many Sunnysiders are Signing Petition in Favor of Arts Studio

Sept. 18, 2012 By Christian Murray

Yasko Takeno-Williams, whose plan to open an arts studio on 43rd Avenue appears to have been dashed by zoning regulations, is circulating a petition to show city planners that the community supports her enterprise.

Takeno-Williams intends to take her petition to a meeting that councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has arranged with officials from the NYC Department of Planning.  Takeno-Williams, Van Bramer and City Planning are expected to discuss zoning for the arts studio in Sunnyside.

Last month, Takeno-Williams entered into a lease to establish the studio at 43-20 43rd Avenue, which would offer theater and dance classes for children. However, those plans were brought to an abrupt halt when she was notified by the NYC Department of Planning that zoning regulations prohibited her from opening her arts studio at that location.

The location she selected is designated by city zoning as a “C1-3 lot”, which permits retail and office use only– such as the former “Discount Store.”  Dance studios are only permitted to operate in “C2” zones. There is a lack of sites zoned “C2” in Sunnyside.

Takeno-Williams started her online petition Tuesday afternoon. Six hours afterward, she had gathered nearly 150 signatures.

She remains hopeful that something can be worked out with city officials so she permitted to move into new space.

To view/sign the petition, please click here

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Re: Thalia Spanish Theatre – It’s probably not allowed. Only reason this new dance studio is having issues, is because of the anonymous complaint. I don’t think City Planning is actively out there targeting small business’.


If this is the case, how is the Thalia Spanish Theatre able to hold dance performances and plays in a storefront property?

Seems to me some of these zoning regulations are not well thought out and simply exist for their own sake (i.e. bureaucratic control freaks who get off making up silly rules).


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