BSA allows fewer parking spaces for drug store

Developer obtains a 35-space reduction based on soil conditions. Anthony Racanelli, owner of 23,564- square-foot lot fronting Forest and Decker Avenues in Staten Island, proposed to demolish an abandoned gas station on the site and replace it with a two-story drug store, triggering a 74-space, on-site parking requirement. Racanelli applied to BSA to reduce the parking requirement to 39 spaces, arguing that, due to the site’s poor soil conditions and high ground water levels, it was too costly to construct the needed floor area below grade level, which would exempt it from parking requirements. Racanelli claimed that the 74 spaces would reduce the floor area to a point that the drug store would not be viable. Racanelli argued that the larger floor area would not increase auto trips to the site since the added floor area would be used for storage and employee office space and breakrooms.

Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro and Council Member Michael McMahon opposed Racanelli’s application, requesting that the store be sited directly on the corner of Forest and Decker Avenues. Racanelli provided analyses showing that the reconfiguration would create circulation problems and reduce the visibility of cars entering traffic from the site.

BSA agreed with Racanelli, finding that the soil conditions made subterranean floor area infeasible and the reconfiguration proposed by the Borough President and Council Member McMahon would cause circulation difficulties. BSA reduced the required parking from 74 to 39 spaces.

BSA: 1579 Forest Avenue (340-04-BZ) (May 10, 2005) (Joseph P. Morsellino, for Racanelli). CITYADMIN

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