BSA rejects special permit for demolished building

Owner’s application to Buildings failed to disclose actual conditions or intentions with respect to demolition. Alexis Lyublinskiy hoped to enlarge his one-story home at 136 Norfolk Street in Manhattan Beach. After his architect self-certified permits, demolition and construction work began that did not match the permits. Lyublinskiy eventually demolished three walls and constructed a two-story home that violated zoning restrictions on floor area, wall height and yard limitations.

The Department of Buildings then issued a stop-work order and notified Lyublinskiy that it planned to revoke the permit. Instead, Buildings issued a letter to Lyublinskiy categorizing the work as an “enlargement” rather than new construction; this allowed him to apply to BSA for a special permit to legalize the work.

At BSA, Lyublinskiy claimed that his contractor found water and termite damage requiring demolition of the walls. When questioned by BSA, the contractor admitted that the discovery occurred before filing for permits, and that the final permits did not reflect the intended demolition.

BSA denied Lyublinskiy’s application, ruling that BSA determines whether work qualifies as an enlargement or new construction regardless of Buildings’ categorization. BSA ruled that under the zoning text a special permit could not be used where a building was demolished to a point that only one wall remained. BSA added that Lyublinskiy had not even integrated the wall into the home but instead used it to support a new wall.

BSA: 136 Norfolk Street (111-06-BZ) (April 24, 2007). CITYADMIN

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