DOB stop-work order of no consequence in vested rights analysis. On April 25, 2007, the Department of Buildings issued a permit to the owner of 1447 Rosedale Avenue to construct a three-story, two-family home. Two weeks later the City Council approved a rezoning in Park Stratton which changed the zoning on the owner’s lot from R6 to R5, thereby rendering the proposed project out-of-compliance with maximum permitted floor area, parking, lot coverage, residential density, and front yard parameters. The owner filed an appeal with BSA to continue construction.
The owner argued that he was entitled to continue construction as planned because he had already excavated the site and had completed the footings, foundation, and back-filling. The owner also proved that he had already spent $47,940 on the project and could not recoup his loss if required to comply with the new zoning. In opposition, Buildings claimed that the owner had performed unauthorized work in violation of a stop-work order, and that his application should be denied on that basis alone.
BSA granted the appeal, finding that the owner had undertaken substantial construction, made substantial expenditures, and would have suffered serious loss if he were denied the right to proceed under the previous R6 zoning. BSA reviewed the stop-work order, but found that the violations giving rise to it did not affect the validity of the permit or the work completed pursuant to the permit.