Development grandfathered: foundations 91% complete

A Portion of a proposed fourteen-home development along Woodrow Road and Turner Street in Staten Island. Image: Courtesy Think Design Architecture.

Developer poured 91 percent of the foundations of fourteen-home development before the City Council approved the Sandy Ground Rezoning. Prior to February 2010, a developer obtained excavation and foundation permits and began work on a fourteen-building development on a 44,069 sq.ft. lot at Woodrow Road and Turner Street in Staten Island. The developer planned to build nine three-story, single-family attached homes and five two-story, single-family attached homes. On February 3, 2010, the developer obtained building permits for the project. Later that day the City Council approved the Sandy Ground Rezoning, which rezoned the project site from R3-2 to R3-1, rendering the buildings out of compliance with the zoning district’s prohibition on attached homes. Because the buildings’ foundations had not been completed by the rezoning’s enactment date, the newly issued permits lapsed. In May, the developer filed an appeal with BSA to complete construction. In late July, Buildings issued a letter stating that the developer’s building permits were issued prior to the rezoning.

At BSA, the developer submitted evidence that it had completed all excavation work and poured 91 percent of the foundations prior to the rezoning. The developer claimed that it had already expended 21 percent of the project’s $2.8 million budget. To build a complying project, the developer also claimed that the existing foundations would need to be relocated or removed. The developer submitted two complying development scenarios consisting of ten and eleven detached and semi-detached homes, but said these projects would result in losses as high as $811,594.

State Senator Andrew J. Lanza, who had proposed the Sandy Ground Rezoning, and the Civic Association of the Sandy Ground Area opposed the application. Staten Island Community Board 3 supported the application.

BSA granted the appeal, finding that the developer had performed substantial construction on the project and would suffer a serious loss if required to develop the project under the current zoning. BSA granted the developer two additional years to complete the proposal.

BSA: 102-118 Turner Street, Staten Island (71-10-A – 84-10-A) (Aug. 17, 2010) (Eric Palatnik, for developer) (Architect: Think Design Architecture)

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