Zoning laws may force Starlite Dance Studio owners to shut down or relocate

(04/03/04) WESTCHESTER SQUARE - Zoning laws may be forcing the owners of a Bronx dance school to close their doors or relocate. Starlite Dance Studio has been located at 1631 St. Peters Avenue in Westchester Square for almost a year. But after 15 quality-of-life complaints and three violations from the Environmental Control Board, leaders from the Bronx dance school are in danger of losing their current location. Studio owner David Melendez says he has been fined unfairly because no one told him that he was not allowed to open a dance school when he first bought the property.

The school is located in a residential area, but the building is zoned for a restaurant or store -- not a dance studio. Community Board 10 members say they want the studio officials to move it to a commercial area because of the residents' concerns including litter, double-parking and overcrowding.

Members of the Starlite Dance Studio and Community Board 10 will sit down for a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the zoning regulations. Ultimately, city officials will make the final decision on whether zoning laws would be changed to accommodate the Bronx dance school.

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