TO: NYC Board of Standards and Appeals
FROM: Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (30th District, Queens)
SUBJECT: January 26, 2010 Calendar Item 300-08A
39-35 27th Street, Long Island City, Queens 11102
I am writing to oppose the appeal of the owner of this property for a hardship exemption from the current zoning that would permit him to circumvent the new zoning regulations designed to preserve the character and integrity of the neighborhood.
The low-rise, mixed residential-commercial Dutch Kills neighborhood has been under assault by developers who sought to exploit the zoning of the community and build out-of-character, too-tall buildings on low-rise residential streets. After a lengthy and arduous review process that included vigorous discussion, a re-zoning plan put forward by the City Planning Commission was broadly supported by the Dutch Kills Civic Association, Community Board One and most local civic organizations. Following approval of the re-zoning by the City Council, more than a dozen developers, including the owner of this property, sought to avoid the new, more-restrictive zoning by beating a deadline so their out-of-character buildings could be legally grandfathered.
While clearly within his legal right to qualify for grandfathering status, this particular developer was well aware of the intent of the new rezoning and the time constraints he faced for his project. Moreover, the delays that he cites that prevented him from qualifying to have his project “grandfathered” were completely of his own making. The city repeatedly stopped work on this project because of unsafe working conditions and damages his project inflicted on neighboring buildings. This owner is completely responsible for his own hardship and does not merit any special consideration from this body. I respectfully ask you to deny the petition before you.