From Bayside Patch:
A plan to build a two-bedroom house on a “side yard” in Bayside Hills could be shaping up as a battle royal between Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council – and there hasn’t been an official meeting about it yet.
The budding brouhaha centers around 50-20 216th Street, at the corner of 51st Ave. A house sits on the wide end of what is basically a triangular lot and the owner has split the property into two tax lots, with the idea of building another house on the land.
But there’s a catch. The planned construction falls short of zoning requirements, so a “variance” is needed from the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), with an advisory vote from CB11.
Bonfilio [the owner] said that he feels that BSA will issue the variance anyway, based on “case law.”
So does City Councilmember Dan Halloran, and he has a problem with it. After meeting with residents who were at the meeting, he explained.
The problem as Halloran sees it is that the Mayor appoints the BSA and because of a loophole created by an earlier Charter revision, its decisions can only be challenged in court.
To close the loophole would require either another Charter Revision, or a state law, Halloran said. “The Mayor can knock out the former and exercise considerable influence on the latter,” he conceded.