The BSA Hates Us; How Do We Stop It?

Abraham Travitsky lives next door to Joseph Durzieh's home, which he’s renovating to the dismay of his Homecrest neighbors.

I’d say “There goes the neighborhood,” but the neighborhood came and went so many times that I’m beginning to suspect it’s a well-heeled prostitute.

Neighbors on a Homecrest block are outraged over what they call a hulking eyesore rising in their midst.
City officials decided last week to let owner Joseph Durzieh go ahead with a 53-foot-tall house that towers over other homes on the E. 18th St. [sic – It’s East 12th Street] block – and gets so close to a house next door it blocks the windows.
“It’s a monstrosity,” said lawyer Stu Klein, who is representing neighbors on both sides of the building challenging the project.
… The project would be illegal under current zoning, but the city Board of Standards and Appeals voted last week to let the owner go ahead because he started work before zoning rules changed to bar buildings so high.

Why does the Board of Standards and Appeals continue to vote against the wishes of the community? What do its members have to gain from scorning – so routinely and so callously – the residents of the neighborhoods it shapes?

While agencies like the DOT and the MTA are supreme examples of bureaucratic incompetence, the BSA is the paragon of institutional malice. It needs to go.

But back to the house…

Neighbors challenged the move, charging Durzieh’s permits were no good because he got permission to renovate an existing house – but actually tore down most of the house and put up a new building.
… Durzieh has maintained the three-story structure will be a single family home for his family.
But Theresa Scavo, chair of Community Board 15 – which voted overwhelmingly against the plan – suspects Durzieh really plans to turn it into condos, noting that plans include an elevator and an exterior staircase.
Durzieh and his contractors have also been fined $9,200 for construction violations on the site, according to DOB records. He did not return calls.

And so it goes. Another ugly condo on another block in which it doesn’t fit. And no, I’m not against condos or the area developing, I’m just against the stupid ones.


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