Friday, December 23, 2011
Van Bramer introduces BSA reforms
From the Queens Campaigner:
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) announced last week he was introducing four pieces of legislation dedicated to reforming the city Board of Standards and Appeals.
The councilman said the BSA, which he calls a “bogus agency,” regularly ignores community protests against out-of-character developments and dismisses community board recommendations to satisfy the wants of developers. Van Bramer said that of the 2,855 appeals to the BSA by developers between 2001 and 2005, only 2.7 percent were rejected.
“These folks to go the BSA, claim a hardship and boom, they’re able to be approved,” Van Bramer said.
The BSA said they had no comment on the legislation.
Van Bramer’s first piece of legislation, called Intro 678, would create a standard procedure for the BSA that would incorporate City Planning?, community boards, borough boards, leasees and tenants into the BSA’s decision on whether to grant a variance to a developer. These groups can currently comment on a variance, but their concerns often do not factor into the decision, Van Bramer said.
Intro 679 to 681 would expand the BSA to include appointees from the city public advocate, each borough president and each community board; create a formal complaint procedure for community members; and require the mayor’s appointees to be approved by the Council.