182 15th St., the foundation race.
The Board of Standards and Appeals met once again last night to discuss the fate of the 62-unit, 11-story development at 182 15th Street in the South Slope. Land-use aficionados will remember that this is one of several disputed projects currently in limbo after the much-praised rezoning of the South Slope in November of last year, where new building heights were severely limited on the streets and expanded on the avenues.
Well, keep hoilding your breath–the B.S.A. made no decision last night concerning the project. It’s due to meet next month–July 25, to be precise–and we’re told a decision will be made then.
The plot of land on which the development sits was originally zoned as R6, which has no maximum height cutoff; rather, height is governed by sky-exposure planes, beginning at 60 feet above the lot line, which the building cannot penetrate. After the rezoning, it turned into R6B, which has a maximum building height of 50 feet–period. The developer of 182 15th Street, Isaac Katan, has been trying to convince the B.S.A. that the foundation of the project was laid prior to the 2005 rezoning, which would allow it to continue under the old zoning. Area residents, in turn, have accused the developer of cheating to beat the deadline, with unsafe and after-hours work without a permit.
Reached by phone, Howard Hornstein, the developer’s attorney, was optimistic about the project’s future, but would not paint himself into any corners (after all, he in an attorney), simply saying, Hopefully, [the project] will be sustained. There’s substantial progress on the foundation. We’re hopeful.”