Appellate Court Upholds BSA Approval of Rooftop Additions

Tenant objected to BSA’s interpretation of Multiple Dwelling Law that legalized sixth-floor additions to East Village tenements. In October 2006, Ben Shaoul, the owner of two adjacent five-story tenements located at 514 and 516 East 6th Street in the East Village, filed an application with the City’s Department of Buildings seeking an alteration permit to add two floors to each building. The proposal did not comply with the fire safety requirements of the Multiple … <Read More>

Appellate Court Denies Challenge to St. Mary’s Hospital’s Five-Story Addition

Opponent’s attempt to stop construction declared moot. St. Mary’s Hospital for Children operates a 97-bed children’s hospital on an eight-acre campus at 29-01 216th Street in Bayside, Queens. The hospital building was built in the 1950s. In 2006, St. Mary’s sought to add a five-story, 90,000 sq.ft. addition to the eastern side of the hospital. In October 2008, St. Mary’s sought a determination from the Department of Buildings confirming that the site was permitted … <Read More>

Split Court Upholds Sunset Park Rezoning Plan [UPDATE: Court of Appeals Affirms]

This article was originally published on 10/15/2011 (see below for update).

Dissent argued that City only belatedly added consideration of rezoning’s impact on low-income residents. In April 2009, the Department of City Planning proposed a 128-block contextual rezoning of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Planning sought to preserve the residential neighborhood’s built character while allowing new construction at a height and scale consistent with existing development. The proposal called for establishing height limits, mapping new … <Read More>

City’s adult establishment laws upheld

Zoning restrictions against adult businesses survive trial on adequacy of prior study. The Department of City Planning conducted a study on the negative secondary effects of adult businesses in the City, and concluded in 1993 that such businesses increased crime and lowered property values. Based on this study, the City in 1995 amended the zoning resolution to restrict the location of adult businesses in certain areas, banned the enlargement of existing adult uses, and prohibited … <Read More>

Landmarks’ designation process upheld

First Department ruled that preservation group failed to show its members were affected differently than general public. The City’s Landmarks law provides the public with the ability to nominate properties for landmark designation by submitting a Request for Evaluation form. After receiving a request, the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Request for Evaluation Committee, which includes the Landmarks Chair, screens the nomination in order to determine whether additional consideration is appropriate.

A nomination requiring further consideration is … <Read More>

Court upsets Columbia’s eminent domain option

Property owners challenge ESDC’s authority to use eminent domain on behalf of Columbia. Looking to expand in West Harlem, Columbia University teamed up with the City’s Economic Development Corporation in 2001 to redevelop the area. Not long after, EDC issued a West Harlem Master Plan. The plan stated that West Harlem could be redeveloped through rezoning, and did not mention any blighted conditions in Manhattanville. Columbia began purchasing property in the area in 2002 for … <Read More>