Dear Friend,

I write to alert you to an important case coming before the Board of Standards and Appeals next Tuesday, August 16th, at 10 am, at 40 Rector Street. The case has huge implications regarding efforts to limit abuse of community facility regulations by preventing developers from getting a community facility bulk bonus without a legitimate community facility in place to occupy the space. I strongly urge you to come to the hearing next Tuesday, and to send testimony to the BSA in advance of the hearing.

The case involves an effort by a developer to overturn a Department of Buildings ruling preventing him from getting a building permit for construction of a 19-story dormitory at 605 East 9th Street, Manhattan. The basis of DOB's rejection of his permit application was their requirement that a school or university hold a long-term lease for the property or a deed, to ensure that there will be a legitimate occupancy of the building as a dormitory before permits are issued enabling construction of the additional floor area afforded a dormitory as compared to a residential building. The developer's case claims the DOB has no right to require such proof, and he (and by implication, all others in similar situations) should be given permits to construct buildings with additional community facility bulk even without substantial proof in place that there is a community facility use to occupy the space. Should he succeed, Singer's case would significantly weaken the modest protections we currently have against abuse of community facility bulk regulations -- regulations which we have been fighting to strengthen.

Please CLICK HERE for sample letter to the BSA urging them not to grant the appeal of the decision by DOB not to issue a permit in this case. I urge you to send the letter in to the BSA now in advance of the hearing. I also strongly urge you to come to the hearing next Tuesday the 16th at 10 am; you may have an opportunity to testify there as well if you wish, but regardless, your presence at the hearing will be very helpful in pushing the BSA not to grant the appeal. We expect the hearing to go for 2 hours at most.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I hope to see you on Tuesday.

Sincerely,

BSA letter

Andrew Berman

Executive Director