Archive for the tag 'zoning'

Cherry Hill-Lundy's Grand Opening

Cherry Hill opened in 2009. Photo by Ray Johnson.

(UPDATE: 3:30pm): We were just informed that Cherry Hill has been removed from the agenda for Monday and will be pushed back until January.

Original post: 

Community Board 15 is meeting Monday, December 15, at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College  (2001 Oriental Boulevard) in the faculty dining room. The meeting is more than a week earlier than their regularly scheduled meeting so that it will not conflict with the holidays.

Among other items, the Board will consider an application for a zoning text amendment from the City Planning Commission to permit food stores with no limitation within the landmarked Lundy’s building (1901 Emmons Avenue) – an alteration requested by Cherry Hill Gourmet Market. The business currently operates in violation of the Sheepshead Bay special zoning district, which dictates the kind of businesses that can operate along the Emmons Avenue waterfront.

Food markets are currently prohibited, and the business opened in 2009 with initial plans to have both a market and restaurant. Though there is a cafe, the restaurant – which was slated to take up 70 percent of the floor space, including the second flood – never materialized. According to owners, that’s because local groups and community leaders including former State Senator Carl Kruger opposed the market use, eventually earning a Stop Work Order that impeded construction.

After five years of operation in violation of zoning, the business is now asking that their food store be allowed. They say they remain one of the building’s only viable tenants and bring jobs to the area, and the change in use will allow them to move forward with plans of establishing a second-floor restaurant. Opponents say, nice as the market may be, legalizing the use would reward a business owner who disregarded the law, and also further weaken the Sheepshead Bay special zoning district intended to preserve the waterfront for recreational use.

Aside from the Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, other items on the Board’s zoning agenda include:

  • 2311 Quentin Road - An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.
  • 1963 McDonald Avenue  – An application to legalize a variance for floor area, lot coverage, rear yard and open space regulations.
  • 1620 Shore Boulevard - An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.
  • 2018 East 7th Street – An application filed for “Revocable Consent” due to the open steps and garden wall encroaching 5.1 ft beyond the lot line at the front of the property.

In addition to the zoning items, the board’s chairperson and district manager will deliver their monthly reports. There will also be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss various committee reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.

You can view the full agenda here. Refreshments will be served.

loehmanns

Bullet Points” is our format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.

Loehmann’s expansion postponed: An expected vote on an application to expand Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza (2027 Emmons Avenue) was tabled by Community Board 15 at their meeting this Tuesday to allow hearings and public input throughout the summer.

The Board was scheduled to vote on the proposal, which seeks to add an additional floor of office space totaling 10,000 square feet to the building. As the first item on the agenda, the Board’s Zoning Committee chairperson, Ronnie Tawil, made a motion to table the item until the group’s next meeting in September.

“Since this property is at the centerpiece of Sheepshead Bay and is of such high significance for the entire area, I’m of the mind that we should table this matter so that we can have more public hearings and more opportunities to discuss the ramifications of this particular application,” he said before the Board.

Normally, postponing such a hearing before the summer could open the door for an end-run around the Board. The group’s recommendation is advisory, and is requested to come within 60 days before the landlord’s appearance before the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), which has final say. If the Community Board tables a motion, it could forfeit its right to provide input.

However, the group’s chairperson Theresa Scavo said that won’t happen in this case. She met with the landlord’s attorney, Eric Palatnik, who frequently comes before the group on zoning matter and requested that he postpone the appearance before the BSA so that public hearings can be organized. He agreed, and has frozen the application, Scavo said.

“I’m asking him not to go ahead without us, he said he would not, and everything is put on hold. He’s giving it until September,” said Scavo.

Public hearings are expected to be scheduled in July or August by Councilman Deutsch’s office in conjunction with local groups like the Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association. The item will be back for a vote before the Board in September.

As Sheepshead Bites first reported in March, the landlord is planning to add a new floor of commercial offices. Because it falls outside of the special zoning district‘s permitted uses, and the building is already subject to a variance, the BSA must review and approve the project.

Its initial construction was a lightning rod for community activists in the 1990s, when many locals mobilized to stop it from being built. It succeeded in going forward, and many credit the development as being the death of the special zoning district.

“It’s the same thing all over again. The use exceeds the zoning by 800 percent. It was granted specifically for Loehmann’s and Loehmann’s went out [of business]. So that’s it. Unbelievable,” said Steve Barrison when he learned the news in March. “We’re talking about a special district. We’re talking about the waterfront. We’re not talking about any where else in the community. It’s disgusting.”

Zoning items:

  • 1112 Gilmore Court - The board voted 28-to-5 to approve an application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling. The landlord is seeking to upgrade a one-story bungalow into a two-family house, saying he needs more space for his family and needs the second unit to cover the costs of construction. The construction will not result in decreased side yards, as they plan to build back into the rear yard and to increase the front yard space.

Elected officials:

  • Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein briefed the Board on the end of the legislative session, specifically touting her record of domestic violence initiatives. She added that her bill on special education placements did not pass, but that was in fact good news since a deal had been negotiated with Mayor Bill de Blasio to initiate the changes at the Department of Education anyway.

Other notable information:

  • A motion by newly appointed boardmember Ed Jaworski, also the president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association, was rejected. The motion was to approve a resolution of “no confidence” in the Board of Standards and Appeals, which he said has been effectively upzoning neighborhoods on a lot-by-lot basis by rubber stamping special applications for variances that come before it. In the coming days, the BSA will lose its current chairperson to term limits, and Jaworski hoped to send a message that would result in an appointee he would consider more inclined to listen to local communities. The Board ultimately rejected the motion after choosing not to table it, with members saying that it would “disenfranchise the relationship we’ve built over time,” and that there were other ways to weigh in on the selection of a new BSA chairperson.
  • The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, through their partnership with the Family Justice Center, informed the area that they are establishing walk-in centers in every borough for domestic violence victims. The centers have free attorneys, social workers, children’s counselors and more on-site, and it’s open to all regardless of gender or immigration status. Community Board 15 is ranked 39th citywide in domestic violence calls, roughly in the middle of all communities.
  • The Department of City Planning announced the launch of the Southern Brooklyn Resilient Neighborhood Study, a two-year plan to examine the Sheepshead Bay area (specifically Plumb Beach and Gerritsen Beach) to identify strategies to strengthen the area from future storms. Some attendees complained that the new study doesn’t help with ongoing issues with Build it Back, FEMA or other agencies, and is yet another in a long line of studies and initiatives that they feel are not moving forward.
  • The Board welcomed the appointment of five new members, at least two of which were not in attendance, and at least one of which has never been seen at Board meetings previously. Board appointments are made by the borough president, often at the recommendation of local Council members.
  • Doreen Garson, representing the local CERT team, noted that the Office of Emergency Management has issued new evacuation maps and a related website.
  • A representative for Councilman Mark Treyger announced that his office would hold an unclaimed funds event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their 2014 Stillwell Avenue office on July 10. You will be able to search state databases for funds owed that you may have forgotten about or lost track of.
  • The Sheepshead Bay and Gerritsen Beach branches of the Brooklyn Public Library will participate in the Department of Education’s summer meals programming, offering kids free lunch during the day, beginning on June 27.
  • The July 4 holiday is a Friday. There will be no recycling picked up that day, but garbage may be put to the curb. Alternate side parking will be suspended.
  • The Department of Consumer Affairs asked the Board for input on the installation of bumper cars at Land o’ Fun at 2955 Coney Island Avenue. The Board voted to recommend its approval.

Community Board 15 is meeting tonight, May 27, at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College (2001 Oriental Boulavard) in the faculty dining room.

The following zoning items are on the agenda.

  • 3743-3761 Nostrand Avenue - Application to extend the term of the special permit on a gas station. No work to be done.
  • 148 Norfolk Street - Application for an amendment of previously approved plans due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. They’re looking to raise the home four feet to comply with proposed flood-related regulations.

The Department of Transportation will also be at the meeting to deliver a presentation on bike safety.

The board’s chairperson and district manager will deliver their monthly reports, as will chairpersons from the Board’s health, postal, public safety and transportation committees. There will also be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss the reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.

Refreshments will be served.

Source: bklynr.com

Source: bklynr.com via ny.curbed

Thomas Rhiel of BKLYNR put together this nifty little map that shows the approximate age of all structures standing in Brooklyn. We were clued into this map, which pins the age of 320,000 structures across Brooklyn, via NY Curbed.

The oldest structures are clearly churches but in closely scanning the map, I haven’t seen any blue in our area, which represents buildings built before 1825. Let me know the oldest spots you can pick out. Here, again, is the link to the zoomable map in full.

Built for expansion: This owner of this Beaumont Street home violated the terms of their special application, so they tore down their home and rebuilt this structure so they could apply again. (Source: CB15)

Bullet Points” is our format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.

Enlargement denied: Community Board 15 said a Manhattan Beach homeowner’s request to expand his home would set a bad precedent after learning that the homeowner previously dodged zoning laws, got caught, tore down his home and rebuilt it – all to try for the permit for a second time.

Owners of the home at 282 Beaumont Street, one house in from the water, sought to expand their two-story home by adding a third story, bulking out the building in the front and the rear, and doubling the floor area allowed by zoning standards. But, during questioning at the public hearing, Community Board members expressed concern that the homeowner had previously got caught dodging zoning, and rebuilt a shoddy house with the intention of coming before the Board for a new application.

“Since [violating zoning laws and having the permits revoked,] the owners constructed a new home that appears to be purposely built to be destroyed,” said neighbor Samuel Falack, who lives on the block and also spoke on behalf of the Manhattan Beach Community Group. “It has a shabbily built second floor and a flat roof that has pipes leading to what they hope will be an attic or a third floor with the expectation that a second special permit will be granted.”

Falack called the application disingenuous, and urged the Board to oppose it.

Keep reading to find out what happened, and other information from the Community Board 15 meeting.

Pera Cafe Loses Bid For Sidewalk Cafe: Community Board 15 denied an application for a sidewalk cafe at Pera Cafe, a new Turkish restaurant and lounge at 2255 Emmons Avenue, in a near-split vote after members raised questions about pedestrian safety and the restaurant’s own track record.

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Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison spoke at last night’s Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting, explaining the importance of the neighborhood’s Special Purpose District, and urged residents to join in protecting it.

The presentation came as Barrison and others seek to unite and fight off plans to exempt Cherry Hill Gourmet Market from the district’s mandates, though the market inside the historic Lundy’s building was never specifically named during the meeting.

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From the Manhattan Beach Community Group:

Everyone is invited to attend the June meeting on the 15th, Wednesday night at 8 PM at PS 195. We will be discussing  the possible opening of a Bistro with Booze at 184 Oxford Street. That means people drinking and driving in our community. Excessive noise and a slew of problems for our friends on Oxford and Norfolk Streets. Not to forget the proximity to a High School, playground and College.

We will also be discussing Zoning and the scheme to up-size our neighborhood. The membership will also be updated on the Directors only meeting of June 14. Lastly, the nominating committee be voted on.

Hope to see you.

After months of trying, opponents to the proposed Sheepshead Bay Islamic Center nearly got what they’ve been demanding from Community Board 15: a vote.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

Several speakers continued their monthly plea at last night’s meeting for the board to express opposition to the planned mosque at 2812 Voorhies Avenue, and this time an opportunity was briefly in sight.

Executive board member Robert Gevertzman opened a can of worms when he asked Chairperson Theresa Scavo about the possibility of a vote. His curiosity was openly received by the opposition, who burst into applause.

With the topic on the floor, Scavo moved quickly to explain the pointlessness – and inappropriateness – of such a vote.

Find out why the CB can’t vote on the Sheepshead Bay mosque, and what the opposition has to say about it.

Sheepshead Bay Station Plaza by Acadia Realty and PA Associates
(Courtesy of Acadia Realty)

Acadia Realty, a partner in the enormous Sheepshead Bay Station Plaza development adjacent to the train station platform, has posted floor plans of the mega-establishment on its website. The plans reveal a 16-story residential tower perched on top of four floors of retail, a one-story parking deck and a floor of office space.

If the plans become a reality, the 22-story Sheepshead Bay Station Plaza will stand far taller than any other building in the area, with the Sheepshead Bay train station platform nestled in its shadow.

The website shows that the residential lobby will be on the ground floor on the side closest to Voorhies Avenue, but does not indicate the number of dwellings or inhabitants. The apartment tower will sit directly above an office, which itself is above an 89-space parking deck. The four-floors of retail below is topped off by a fitness center and a community facility. Outside of the main building, a private street is planned that includes an estimated 650 parking spaces and an additional small retail building. In addition to Acadia Realty, the project is being built by PA Associates and GreenbergFarrow.
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