BSA Rebuffs Appeal Over Domestic Abuse Shelter

Group claimed shelter violated use limitations. A community group appealed the City’s Department of Buildings’ issuance of a permit allowing alterations to a Brooklyn building to accommodate a domestic violence shelter. Prior to the appeal and after the issuance of the permit, several parties, including the community group, sought an injunction in state court to prevent the shelter from occupying the building and from performing the permitted work. The court dismissed the complaint, finding that the parties failed to exhaust administrative remedies. Thereafter the group filed an appeal with the Board of Standards and Appeals.

The community group argued that the shelter would exceed the capacity limit of the certificate of occupancy, and further that the proposal of a shelter would violate use provisions of the zoning resolution because the building should have been classified as a “transient hotel”.

BSA denied the appeal, ruling that the shelter did not meet the definition of “transient hotel” under zoning laws, and noted that, if the community group was concerned that the shelter was violating any applicable law, it could file a complaint and an inspection request with Buildings.

BSA: Undisclosed location in Brooklyn (140-04-A) (September 14, 2004).

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