Vested rights case lost

BSA rejects owner’s argument that case can be based on erroneously certified permit. Trevor Fray applied to BSA to continue construction of a three-family, four-story building at 84-24 168th Place in Briarwood, Queens after the City Council down-zoned Fray’s lot to a zoning that restricted development to oneand two-family detached housing. Fray argued that he had a common law right to continue development of the entire building based on foundation and demolition permits issued before the rezoning and a new building permit that his architect, Figueroa Architects, approved by self-certification 15 days after the rezoning.

Buildings later revoked the new building permit and investigated Fray’s foundation permit, finding it to be erroneously self-certified since it missed several requirements, like a sewer connection approval, a boring test report and a zoning plan showing it complied with the district’s zoning. After Fray and Figueroa failed to respond to Buildings’ concerns about the foundation permit, Buildings revoked it.

BSA informed Fray that the new building permit and the foundation permit were irrelevant since a valid permit was required to establish a case for vested rights. Fray argued that the foundation permit was valid until revoked and, consequently, the completed work and incurred expenditures should be considered up until the permit was revoke.

BSA denied this argument, noting that, if adopted, it would create incentive for developers to falsely self-certify permits to obtain a vested right.

BSA: 85-24 168th Place (173-05-A) (June 20, 2006) (Stuart Klein, for Fray; Lisa Orrantia, for DOB). CITYADMIN

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