Bz ceqr #08-bsa-061X

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CEQR #08-BSA-061X

APPLICANT – Rothkrug, Rothkrug & Spector, LLP, for Laconia Land Corporation, owner.

SUBJECT – Application February 25, 2008 – Special Permit (§§11-411 & 11-413) to allow the re-instatement and extension the term, to amend the previous BSA approval of an Automotive Service Station (UG 16) to a Automotive Repair Facility (UG 16). The application seeks to subdivide the zoning lot and allow a portion to be developed as of right in a C1-2/R5 zoning district.

PREMISES AFFECTED – 3957 Laconia Avenue, Northwest corner of east 224th Street, Block 4871, Lot 1, Borough of Bronx.



For Applicant: Eric Palatnik.

ACTION OF THE BOARD – Application granted on condition.


Affirmative: Chair Srinivasan, Vice Chair Collins, Commissioner Ottley-Brown, Commissioner Hinkson and Commissioner Montanez .......................................5



WHEREAS, the decision of the Bronx Borough Commissioner, dated January 24, 2008, acting on Department of Buildings Application No. 210009603 reads, in pertinent part:

“Proposed extension of term of variance permitting gasoline service station (UG 16) in a C1-2(R5) zoning district and proposed change in use to automobile repair facility (UG16) and subdivision of a portion of the premises are contrary to ZR section 32-10 and approval of the Board of Standards and Appeals under Cal. No. 150-54-BZ”; and

WHEREAS, this is an application for a reinstatement of a prior Board approval and an extension of term, pursuant to ZR § 11-411, a legalization of a change in use from a gasoline service station with accessory automotive repairs (UG 16) to an automotive service station without the sale of gasoline (UG 16), pursuant to ZR § 11-413 and a subdivision of the subject site; and

WHEREAS, initially, the instant application additionally proposed an enlargement to an existing service station building; the applicant subsequently submitted a revised application eliminating the proposed enlargement; and

WHEREAS, a public hearing was held on this application on November 25, 2008 after due notice by publication in the City Record, with continued hearings on January 27, 2009, March 3, 2009, and April 7, 2009, and then to decision on April 28, 2009; and

WHEREAS, the premises and surrounding area had site and neighborhood examinations by Chair Srinivasan, Vice Chair Collins and Commissioner Hinkson; and

WHEREAS, Community Board 12, Bronx, recommended disapproval of an earlier iteration of this application; and

WHEREAS, a neighboring resident testified in opposition to the application, citing poorly maintained site conditions; and

WHEREAS, the premises is located on the northwest corner of Laconia Avenue and East 224th Street in a C1-2 (R5) zoning district; and

WHEREAS, the subject site has a total lot area of approximately 8,746 sq. ft.; and

WHEREAS, the site is currently occupied by a 1,223 sq. ft. one-story automotive service station building, with accessory parking for 15 vehicles awaiting service; and

WHEREAS, on July 27, 1954, under BSA Cal. No. 150-54-BZ, the Board granted a variance to permit the erection and maintenance of a gasoline service station with accessory uses at the site for a term of fifteen years; and

WHEREAS, the variance was subsequently extended by the Board at various times, most recently on May 8, 1990 under BSA Cal. No. 150-54-BZ, to permit an extension of term for a gasoline service station with accessory uses for a term of ten years from the expiration of the previous grant, expiring on December 4, 1999; and

WHEREAS, the applicant represents that the premises is improved upon with an existing automotive service station without the sale of gasoline (UG 16); and

WHEREAS, the applicant further represents that the only change to the site since the most recent extension is the discontinuance of gasoline sales; a UG 16 automotive repair use has been continuous since the expiration noted above; and

WHEREAS, the applicant now proposes to reinstate the prior grant and to legalize the existing use; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to ZR § 11-411, the Board may extend the term of an expired variance; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to ZR § 11-413, the Board may grant a request for a change in use from one non-conforming use to another non-conforming use in the same use group; and

WHEREAS, the applicant additionally proposes to amend the grant to permit a subdivision of existing Lot 1 into two tax lots: Lot 1 (the "subject lot"), with frontage along the northwest corner of East 224th Street to a depth of between 134.87 feet and 109.51 feet, and Lot 75 (the "adjacent lot") which will lie north of the subject lot with 56.44 feet of frontage of along Laconia Avenue and a depth of between 106 feet and 101.84; and

WHEREAS, the instant application includes an application to the Real Property Assessment Bureau seeking the formal designation of tentative lot 1 and

tentative lot 75 to effect the severance of the subject lot, which will remain under the jurisdiction of the Board, from the adjacent lot, which will be developed as an-as-of-right use; and

WHEREAS, the subject lot is proposed to remain occupied by the automotive service station; and

WHEREAS, at hearing, the Board asked how vehicles awaiting repairs could be accommodated on the subject lot after the subdivision; and

WHEREAS, in response, a submission by the applicant states that approximately 15 vehicles are repaired each week by the existing service station and submitted a parking diagram indicating that a minimum of 15 vehicles could be parked on the subject lot; and

WHEREAS, the applicant further submitted photographs showing that serviced vehicles which had been stored at the site were removed; and

WHEREAS, at hearing, the Board asked whether the site complied with signage requirements for the C-1 zoning district; and

WHEREAS, in response, the applicant submitted a signage analysis and revised plans indicating the existing and proposed signage; and

WHEREAS, at hearing, the Board asked whether the fuel tanks for the prior gasoline service station use had been sealed or removed; and

WHEREAS, in response, the applicant submitted a notarized letter dated January 8, 2000 from a licensed tank installer stating that he had sealed eight 550-gallon steel tanks at the subject site after purging, cleaning, testing and filling them with K-slurry; and

WHEREAS, the applicant additionally submitted a tank removal affidavit executed on November 22, 2006 by another licensed tank installer stating that a 550-gallon fuel tank was filled with sand and permanently sealed as of that date; and

WHEREAS, the Board has determined that evidence in the record supports the findings required to be made under ZR §§ 11-411 and 11-413.

Therefore it is Resolved that the Board of Standards and Appeals issues a Type II determination under 6 NYCRR Part 617.5 and 617.3 and §§ 5-02(a), 5-02(b)(2) and 6-15 of the Rules of Procedure for City Environmental Quality Review and makes each and every one of the required findings under ZR §§ 11-411 and 11-413, for a reinstatement of a prior Board approval, an extension of term, a legalization of a change in use from a gasoline service station with accessory automotive repairs (UG 16), to an automotive service station without the sale of gasoline (UG 16), and a subdivision of the site; on condition that any and all work shall substantially conform to drawings as they apply to the objection above noted, filed with this application marked “Received February 24, 2009”-(4) sheets and “March 30, 2009”-(1) sheet and; and on further condition:

THAT this permit shall be for a term of ten years, to expire on April 28, 2019;

THAT the hours of operation shall be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday;

THAT no repairs or servicing of automobiles shall take place on the sidewalk;

THAT no more than 15 automobiles shall be parked on the site;

THAT no gas pumps shall be installed on the site;

THAT the lot shall be kept free of dirt and debris;

THAT the above conditions shall be listed on the certificate of occupancy;

THAT a certificate of occupancy shall be obtained by April 28, 2010;

THAT the layout of the property, location and size of the fence shall be as approved by the Department of Buildings;

THAT all signage shall comply with C1 zoning regulations;

THAT this approval is limited to the relief granted by the Board in response to specifically cited and filed DOB/other jurisdiction objection(s) only;

THAT the approved plans shall be considered approved only for the portions related to the specific relief granted; and

THAT the Department of Buildings must ensure compliance with all other applicable provisions of the Zoning Resolution, the Administrative Code and any other relevant laws under its jurisdiction irrespective of plan(s)/configuration(s) not related to the relief granted.

Adopted by the Board of Standards and Appeals, April 28, 2009.

A true copy of resolution adopted by the Board of Standards and Appeals, April 28, 2009.

Printed in Bulletin No. 18, Vol. 94.

Copies Sent

To Applicant

Fire Com'r.

Borough Com'r.

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