Court upholds BSA’s denial of variance

BSA legalized existing Queens homeless housing facility, but denied request to expand facility. In the 1980s, Homes for the Homeless, Inc. converted an abandoned hotel on Rockaway Boulevard near Kennedy Airport into a 259-bed homeless housing facility; a use which conflicted with the lot’s manufacturing zoning. Over 15 years later, Homes applied to BSA for variances to expand the facility for 91 additional homeless families and legalize the use. The expansion faced significant opposition.

BSA denied the expansion, but approved the use. Homes then challenged BSA’s denial of its expansion plans, arguing that it was arbitrary to conclude that Homes’ site and plans justified a use variance and not the expansion. The lower court agreed, ordering BSA to grant the variance. On appeal, the First Department sent the application back to BSA for reconsideration, noting that BSA failed to consistently explain how it differentiated between the two decisions. 3 CityLand 15 (Feb. 2006).

The Court of Appeals reversed and dismissed Homes’ article 78 challenge, finding BSA’s decision rational and supported by substantial evidence.

Homes for the Homeless v. BSA, 2006 NY Slip Op 6376, Sept. 12, 2006 (Howard B. Hornstein, for Homes; Michael A. Cardozo, Drake A. Colley, for BSA).

BSA: 175-15 Rockaway Boulevard (219- 03-BZ) (Feb. 3, 2004); BSA: 175-21 149th Avenue (220-03-BZ) (Feb. 3, 2004). CITYADMIN



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