Developer claims proposed 140 units needed to meet funding requirements. The Doe Fund, Inc., a not-for- profit that provides job training and housing for New York City homeless, applied to BSA to construct two affordable housing projects on Webster Avenue in the Bronx. The lots’ commercial zoning prohibited residential development, triggering the need for a variance.
Under the Doe Fund’s plan, the eight-story 41,114-square-foot building proposed for 3349 Webster Avenue would contain 84 single-room occupancy units for seniors. At 3365 Webster Avenue, a second, eight-story 52,306-square-foot building with 56 units would target formerly homeless families.
The Doe Fund claimed that removing the underground storage tanks would significantly increase construction costs. Rock outcroppings would further complicate construction, eliminating any below-grade construction. The Doe Fund also claimed that the project’s funding sources required the buildings to have at least 140 units in total. As a not-for-profit, the Doe Fund was exempt from proving that as-of-right development was infeasible.
Bronx Community Board 7 supported the projects generally, but raised concerns over the average unit size for the SRO units. The board asked BSA to require an increase in the SROs’ size from the proposed 270 sq.ft. to 400 sq.ft.
BSA granted the variance without modification, finding that it was the minimum necessary to meet Doe Fund’s stated needs.
BSA: 3349/3365 Webster Avenue (161- 06-BZ) (Sept. 11, 2007). CITYADMIN