Hotel approved for splitzoned lot

BSA okays hotel only after reduction of 18,000 sq.ft. After four proposals and five public hearings, BSA approved development of a 48-foot tall, four-story transient hotel in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. The site of the hotel, at 806/814 Coney Island Avenue, is comprised of five contiguous lots totaling 32,153 sq.ft., split by commercial (C8-2) and residential (R5) districts and currently contains a one-story garage. The owner required a variance to permit the hotel’s proposed size in the commercial portion of the site and other variances to permit a meeting room, catering hall, and parking lot in the residential portion of the site.

The hotel was originally proposed as a 57,244-square-foot, six-story structure with 75 rooms and 62 parking spaces. Between September 2005 and March 2006, BSA requested three proposals to further reduce the number of hotel rooms and the catering hall’s capacity to ensure that the hotel’s size would be appropriate for its location within a commercial and residential zone. Upon BSA’s request, the owner submitted studies showing that retail development would not provide a reasonable return.

In support of the variances, the owner argued that it could not develop the site under the required zoning due to the site’s split zoning, two landlocked lots, and one narrow five-foot wide lot. Community Board 12 recommended disapproval, arguing that the hotel was not appropriate for the community. Residents testified that the hotel would affect parking and accommodate illegal activities.

To alleviate concerns, the owner proposed to close the parking lot from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., install screening, and ensure that the catering hall and meeting room were not used simultaneously. BSA rejected the assurances and requested additional parking to meet demand for the combined use.

The owner made the requested alterations and proposed a 38,932 sq.ft, 54-room hotel with a 340-seat catering hall and 75-space attended parking lot. BSA approved the variances under the scaled-back proposal and agreed that the site represented an unnecessary hardship. BSA rejected the opposition’s contentions, noting that there was no evidence that the hotel would attract illegal activity. BSA also noted that the hotel would occupy the same footprint as the existing garage and would not significantly alter the neighborhood.

BSA: 806/814 Coney Island Avenue (338-04-BZ) (April 11, 2006) (Martyn and Don Weston, for applicant). CITYADMIN


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