Circus school gets variance

Trapeze training required higher ceilings. The New Wave Circus Center sought BSA approval to locate a circus school in Coney Island where it planned to offer circus- related classes including tightrope walking, unicycle, trapeze and juggling. To accommodate the space needed for circus activities, New Wave would demolish a one-story commercial building at 2920 Coney Island Avenue and replace it with a newly constructed, 49-foot tall building covering the full extent of the 2,160-square-foot lot. The building, as proposed, failed to comply with the zoning district’s 35-foot height limit, 18-foot required front yard, five-foot and eight-foot side yards, and the overall restriction on lot coverage to 55 percent of the lot.

At the BSA hearing, New Wave argued that a circus school’s unique class needs and the shallow 54-foot lot depth created a hardship, requiring construction of a larger building than permitted by code. BSA agreed, finding that trapeze training required high floor-to-ceiling heights to accommodate the swing and safety nets, and unicycle training required large floor plates necessitating the height, yard and setback variances.

BSA: 2920 Coney Island Avenue (378- 03-BZ) (August 23, 2005) (Harold Weinberg, P.E., for New Wave). CITYADMIN

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