BSA refused to allow work to continue on rezoned site

BSA applies more stringent standard when project qualifies as both “minor” and “major” development. Yong Il Pak obtained permits in April 2005 to construct two, two-family homes on adjacent lots along Poplar Avenue at Parsons Boulevard in Kissena Park, Queens. In May 2005, the City Council down-zoned Pak’s site and rendered the construction unlawful. Under the new zoning, only single-family homes would be permitted on Pak’s site.

After Buildings issued a stop work order, Pak applied to BSA to continue construction, arguing that he completed sufficient work to justify reinstatement of the permits. Different standards apply to developments characterized as minor or major developments. BSA determined that Pak’s construction qualified as both since its proposed use as two-family dwellings, and the buildings’ size were prohibited. In cases where both definitions apply, BSA ruled that the more stringent standard should be used.

In this case, Pak was required to revise his application to meet the standard for a minor development, showing that excavation was completed and substantial progress was made on the foundations of both buildings. Pak revised his application, claiming that excavation was complete on both lots.

After BSA reviewed pictures submitted by Pak and the Kissena Park Civic Association, Pak admitted that additional excavation was needed on one lot, but claimed that excavation would have interfered with truck access. BSA disagreed, telling Pak that a simple ramp for trucks could have been constructed leaving sufficient room for the excavation. After failing to provide a reason for the incomplete excavation and insignificant foundation work, BSA denied Pak’s application.

BSA: 143-53/55 Poplar Avenue (144-05-BZY) (May 9, 2006) (Alfonso Duarte, for Pak). CITYADMIN

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