Archive for the tag 'zoning'


Source: 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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Cherry Hill Gourmet Market at Lundys in Sheepshead Bay
(Photo by Ray Johnson)

Cherry Hill Restaurant and Gourmet Market at Lundy’s received two violations this morning, just hours into their first full work day. The establishment’s existing partial stop work order was also upgraded to a full stop work order, which requires Cherry Hill to pay the city $5,000.

The market first opened its doors to the public yesterday evening in spite of a standing partial stop work order issued in early April. The new violations are for operating without a valid certificate of occupancy and a violation of non-conformity with zoning. In addition to the $5,000 fine, Cherry Hill may receive additional penalties to be decided at an Environmental Control Board court hearing on June 29th.

David Isaev, Cherry Hill’s owner, says he doesn’t care about the violations or fines. Talking on the phone, he seemed fed up with the politics. “I think it’s unfounded,” he said. “We have a responsibility to our employees who expect to go to work and support their families… these are real people.” Cherry Hill has 120 employees.

The issuing of violations suggests the city is siding with opponents of the establishment, including Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, State Senator Carl Kruger and City Councilman Michael Nelson, who say Cherry Hill needs more floor space dedicated to a restaurant in order to meet the requirements of the Special Sheepshead Bay District Zoning. Scavo says the violations are not likely to force it to cease operations, though.

“This is not going to stop them at all,” says Scavo. “They have an attitude that they’ll make a restaurant when they get around to it.”

Isaev, though, says he already has restaurant seating for up to 400 people. “How much more do you want?” he says.

A certificate of occupancy is required by the city to prove that the building is not only legally occupied, but also has been inspected by government officials and shown to meet all safety standards. This includes proof that all construction, electrical and plumbing work has been done to city standards. Cherry Hill opened with an expired temporary certificate of occupancy.

These developments are of little surprise to those who attended last night’s Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Association meeting. When the Cherry Hill issue came up for discussion, many (including Scavo) were confused about whether the store was open. According to attendees, Ken Lazar, the Inter-governmental Liaison for the DOB, boldly stated, “If it’s open, we’ll shut it down.”

Of course, that’s unlikely to happen. The DOB doesn’t have the authority to close a business. However, it can continue to levy violations and fines so long as Cherry Hill serves customers.

In order to avoid that, Cherry Hill will have to close its doors and either convert the property to conform to legal zoning standards – which means a higher percentage of floor space given to its restaurant, or can seek a variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals. The latter would leave the space unused for up to 9 months.

Isaev says he plans to meet with DOB officials to see what needs to be done, but he doesn’t plan on closing his store. He says the consistent issuing of stop work orders and violations is a “little weird” since they began when the building was 98% completed. “Every step of the way we were checked and approved by inspectors,” he says.

“Life is a fight,” Isaev adds. “The community knows we’re here to make the community better. So, if a few politicians are against us – we’ll fight City Hall.”

This picture of 1719 Voorhies Ave was taken last fall. In March of 2009, the building remained much the same. The unnamed wedding and party center business doesn’t seem to be in operation and there was no telephone number to call to find out more information.

Just a short while ago, the building, located between Sheepshead Bay Rd & East 18 St, was entirely residential. The last information posted on the NYC EveryBlock website regarding building permit applications indicate that the site was not approved for a conversion.

The New York City Department of Buildings has a Property Profile Overview and a May 8, 2008 Certificate of Occupancy classification as a multiple dwelling building HACA for 5 units. Page two of the document lists approval for a store and accessory for store.

Property Shark lists the building, built in 1934, as a 4,224 square foot residential building with a last sale date of March 2, 2009 at a price of $875,000.

Whether or not the site has been approved for commercial use is unclear, but from the looks of it, development is encroaching on the affordable living spaces.

In case the building does not have approval for the operation of a business, and the office storefront needs to revert back to a residential floor, would any renter want to have such a large glass window in their living room? It’s common for people in the Netherlands to have large windows in their living spaces, so the landlord might do well to find a Dutch family to enjoy the floor-to-ceiling glass. It would be interesting to see new Brooklyn back to a bit of old Breuckelen (real old).

Anyone with information about the meanings of the various codes and acronyms is encouraged to write in.

Just a reminder for tonight’s meetings: Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A public hearing on the rezoning plan for Coney Island by the city is planned for tonight.

Community Board 13 Public Hearing (CB13)
6:30 p.m.
at Lincoln High School
2800 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11235


Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association is having a general meeting in the Landmark Lundy’s building.

Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association (SBPB)
7:30 p.m.
3156 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11235

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