BSA refuses to extend time to construct building

Owner argued that Buildings ordered a halt to excavation to prevent the 14-unit building from being grandfathered. On August 6, 2004, Peter Rendel of DNR Construction applied for a building permit to construct a 14-unit residential condominium building at 1150 Arden Avenue on Staten Island. Three days later, Buildings cited Rendel for removing trees without a permit and issued a stop-work order. Despite the stop-work order, Buildings issued the permit to construct the building on August 10th. One day later, Buildings issued a second stop-work order, alerting Rendel that a permit for tree removal and a City Transit Authority approval letter were required.

On August 12th, the City Council enacted the Lower Density Growth Management controls covering the entire borough of Staten Island to prohibit new out-of-character development in the borough. The new controls rendered the proposed 14- unit building non-compliant and extinguished Rendel’s right to continue with the construction.

Rendel applied to BSA for a time extension to complete construction and grandfather the August 10th permit. At the hearing, Rendel admitted that excavation was incomplete, a requirement for the permit extension, but countered that the incomplete excavation was caused by the stop-work orders. Rendel claimed that the orders had no legal basis and were politically motivated to obstruct excavation work prior to the effective date of the new zoning. Consequently, Rendel argued, BSA should extend the permit even though he could not meet the needed findings. Council Member Andrew Lanza opposed the permit extension at the hearing.

BSA stated that it had no authority to extend the permit since the excavation was incomplete and no progress was made on the foundation prior to the rezoning. Noting that it was restricted by the explicit requirements of the zoning resolution, BSA stated that it could not take the political motivation argument into account.

BSA: 1150 Arden Avenue (324-04-BZY) (April 12, 2005) (Edward Lauria, P.E., Lauria Associates, Architects & Engineers, for Rendel). CITYADMIN

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