Community Board 15’s zoning committee roundly rejected a developer’s appeal to get around regulations for a property on Avenue Z, between E. 21st Street and E. 22nd Street over concerns about parking and building height.
The panel voted unanimously against the request at a June 23 meeting after nearby residents showed up to say the planned building would destroy the neighborhood’s character.
“These kind of developments are killing Sheepshead Bay,” said Daniel Colon, who lives across the street from the lot.
Another neighbor even called the developer, Aleksandr Finkelshteyn, a “bull in a china shop.”
Finkelshteyn has filed a request for a variance with the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals seeking exemptions from several zoning regulations. He wants to build up to four stories rather than the three allowed, and to include commercial and retail space in a residential zone. Most controversially, he doesn’t want to provide any parking — even though regulations would require a development of that size to include 32 parking spaces.
The proposed structure’s floor area would be twice the size permitted by the zoning rules, and would include retail space on the first floor, a commercial office on the second floor, and medical offices on the third and fourth floors.
The developer’s attorney told the committee that it was not feasible to develop the property under the current regulations. The lot hosted a gas station until 1995 and an auto shop since then, precluding residential use, and the lawyer claimed there wasn’t enough room for all the parking required.