BSA rejects owners request for rehearing

Applicant claimed new evidence of increased remediation cost. Basile Builders Group applied to BSA for a rehearing on a variance, denied in 2002, for a residential development at 2353 Cropsey Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. The original application sought to construct a four-story, 45-foot tall residential building that would have exceeded size, lot coverage and height restrictions and failed to provide sufficient open space or side yards. In its denial, BSA found that Basile failed to prove three of the five required findings, namely that the site had unique circumstances, an as-of-right building was infeasible, and the building was similar in size to neighboring structures.

Claiming that the cost to clean up environmental contamination was unknown in 2002, Basile submitted a new remediation study, which estimated a $900,000 site clean-up cost. Based on this cost, Basile sought the rehearing and approval of a new, slightly larger, six-story residential building, asserting that the increased floor area was necessary to cover the considerable remediation cost.

BSA questioned why the remediation cost was unavailable in 2002, noting that a rehearing was restricted to cases with newly available evidence. Basile responded that in 2002 its lease with the site’s tenant, an auto repair shop and retail store, prohibited access for soil studies.

BSA denied the rehearing because the 2002 record had contained soil samples. The 2002 samples indicated that the site was accessible and a remediation cost estimate could have been prepared. BSA further noted that, even if the cost estimate was treated as being unavailable in 2002, newly found information is required for each finding that failed in the original variance. Basile had offered no new information to show that an as-of-right residential building was infeasible or that additional larger scale buildings had been built in the immediate area since the 2002 denial.

BSA: 2353 Cropsey Avenue (224-00-BZ) (April 19, 2005) (Sheldon Lobel, P.C., for Basile). CITYADMIN


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