Monday, February 28, 2011


Notes on Public Hearing
about Board of Standards and Appeals Application for 42 Kermit Place
Meeting held 2/9/11

by June Reich
Chairperson of the Education Committee of Community Board 7

Community Board 7 held a public hearing on February 9, 2011, about the BSA (Board of Standards and Appeals) application by the owner of 161 East 7th Street (aka 42 Kermit Place) to build a 17-unit, 4-story apartment building under the old R6 zoning. The Land Use Committee met after the meeting and unanimously voted not to support this application. At last week's Community Board 7 meeting, the full Board voted unanimously to not support the BSA application.

We don't know yet when the BSA will meet about this application, but it could be soon. They meet on Tuesdays at 10am and 1:30pm. (Their website is not very user-friendly and they only seem to post the agenda for the upcoming meeting.) I encourage everyone to send in written testimony if you cannot attend the hearing. The BSA needs to know how the community feels about this application. I feel very strongly that the owner should either develop the property under the current R5B contextual zone or sell the property to the School Construction Authority, who wants the lot as part of the proposed new school on Caton Ave.

Here's the CB7 Land Use Committee Report. Someone will post info about the BSA hearing as soon as we learn when it is scheduled.


Community Board 7  Land Use & Landmarks Committee Report
February 16, 2011

After the Public hearing held on February 9, 2011 the Land Use Committee recommends that the Community Board vote not to support the Appeals (A) Application #223-10-A regarding the property located at 161 East 7th Street – a/k/a 42 Kermit Place, Block 5321 lot 73.

The committee reviewed the history of the site and the relationship of the owner and the community and found the evidence or the lack of evidence presented at the public hearing offered no valid reason to support this appeals application to allow the prior zoning of R-6 to be vested in this property. The change in zoning did not stop this building from being built.

History of the site:

There was work conducted on the site from 4/4/2008 to 5/18/2008 when a Stop Work Order was put in place.

The Stop Work Order was lifted in October 2008 – no further work took place on the site regarding the completion of the foundation.

The Zoning changed on 3/11/2009 to R 5 B.

On 3/28/2009 a DOB inspection found that only 20% of the foundation was completed and the site was not considered Vested.

At the public hearing an Attorney for the Owner made a very competent presentation, claiming that a significant portion of the building had been completed at the time the new zoning was approved and substantial expenditures in fees and purchase of materials had been made. 

The Attorney also stated that the Owner was considering changing the design of the building.  The new plan was for a 4 story building reducing the height from 6 stories, however the number of units - all one bedrooms would remain at 17. The Attorney started that the owner was going to place one level of parking underground and eliminate the floor that was designated for a community facility.

However, there were no plans for the New Design presented nor were the any solid financial figures presented to support the contention of the owner that there was substantial completion of the building at 42 Kermit.

No one spoke in favor of the proposal.

The sense of the Committee was that this application was not a bona fide effort on the part of the owner to in fact go forward with any building on the site and this application was most likely an effort to enhance the value of the property for sale at a later time. This site is adjacent to the proposed school and is included in the actual site plan.