Residential variance approved for waterfront site

Residential development on College Point manufacturing site approved. Jung Kyu Lee owned a 496,604- square-foot lot split between commercial and manufacturing zoning districts along the East River in College Point, Queens. He constructed 58 two-family homes as-of-right on the commercially-zoned portion, leaving the 144,325-square-foot manufacturing portion vacant and inaccessible from the closest street. Lee then applied to BSA to construct 28 new two-family homes on the manufacturing portion.

Lee argued that manufacturing uses would be infeasible because the manufacturing-zoned portion lacked street frontage, making it necessary to cross the commercially- zoned portion to reach the use. Lee argued that the only feasible, limited alternative would be to construct a use that would be permitted in both zoning districts. Additionally, Lee argued, it would be difficult to develop the site since it was created by landfill and portions of it were underwater. Manufacturing buildings would have to be constructed on piles, greatly increasing construction costs.

BSA agreed that the landfill and the lack of street access created a unique situation, but, pointing to past variance decisions on waterfront parcels, noted that a hardship claim would not be justified based on a portion of the site being underwater. BSA then asked Lee to submit feasibility studies analyzing the entire site as if it were undeveloped. Lee’s studies concluded that a commercial/ manufacturing building built to the full permitted floor area would not make economic sense. BSA agreed, granting the variance.

BSA: 114-01/36-A Taipei Court (290 – 314- 02-BZ) (Oct. 17, 2006). CITYADMIN

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