Reconstruction Approved for Restaurant Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

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Puglia By the Sea was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Image Credit:

BSA granted a use variance to demolish previous restaurant damaged by Hurricane Sandy and permit construction of a one-story restaurant and additional parking spaces. On June 24, 2014, the Board of Standards and Appeals granted a use variance to Puglia by the Sea, a restaurant, located at 750 Barclay Avenue in the Annadale section of Staten Island. BSA approved the application for Puglia to demolish the original restaurant, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy, and construct a new one-story restaurant with additional parking spaces.

Puglia by the Sea is owned by Benjamin Mancuso and was originally known as “Carmen’s.” The restaurant occupied the site from 1941 until October 29, 2012 when it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The 1961 zoning resolution changed the area from a business use district to an R3-2 zone for residential use. The 1961 zoning resolution coordinated use and bulk regulations, incorporated parking requirements and emphasized the creation on open space. Puglia is located within an R3X zoning district which is for residential use and permit only one- and two-family detached homes. On January 9, 1979, the Board of Standards and Appeals granted a variance to permit the enlargement of the restaurant from one to two stories at the site which was then an R3-2 zoning district.

On July 9, 2013, the Department of Buildings Staten Island Borough Commissioner, Ira Gluckman, denied the variance application made by Puglia which proposed to demolish the existing building, construct a new detached two-story restaurant with an open roof deck and a separate accessory parking lot for eight parking spaces on the southwest corner of Barclay Avenue and Boardwalk Avenue. Upon denial, Puglia amended its application and proposed to construct a one-story restaurant, with an attic, and eliminated the parking lot across Barclay Avenue. Public hearings were held by BSA on February 25, May 13, and June 10, 2014, and Staten Island Community Board 3 recommended approval of the application. Staten Island Borough President James Oddo also recommended approval of the application on the condition that the restaurant will not be larger in scale than the existing restaurant. Certain member of the community provided testimony at the hearings in opposition to the application due to noise concerns and insufficient parking.

Puglia stated that the history of the site for restaurant use, the storm-damaged condition of the building and location within a flood zone, and the location of the site within mapped unbuilt streets are unique physical conditions which create unnecessary hardship and practical difficulties in developing the site in conformance with the zoning rules. Puglia also stated that there will be a substantial increase in construction cost in order to comply with the Mayoral Executive Order pertaining to reconstruction in flood zones. Under the Mayoral Executive Order, the restaurant must be elevated which is not possible without demolishing the building.

On June 24, 2014, BSA granted to permit the construction of a one-story building to be occupied by Puglia by the Sea on condition that there will be a minimum of 24 unattended parking spaces or 41 attended spaces. BSA also set the hours of operation from Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Board also required that attended parking be provided on Fridays and Saturdays.

BSA: 750 Barclay Avenue, Staten Island (216-13-BZ) (June 24, 2014) (Rampulla Associates Architects, for 750 LAM Realty, LLC c/o Benjamin Mancuso, owners; Puglia By the Sea Inc.).

By: Jonathan Manfre (Jonathan is a CityLaw Summer Associate and a Student at New York Law School, Class of 2015).

One thought on “Reconstruction Approved for Restaurant Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

  1. Is Puglias ever going to open again? What is the update. We loved this place and it’s location. Thanks

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