New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos' Statement on BSA Ruling on 428-432 East 58th Street

The fight to preserve our residential communities against super-tall buildings will likely have to continue in court before a judiciary less likely to be tainted by the political process after today's irresponsible decision by the Board of Standards and Appeals. The Board ruled in favor of a bad acting developer against a lawful rezoning that was the result of a grassroots effort by the local community and elected officials.

Once again the city is allowing a developer to ignore the laws, having hurtled forward with its illegal foundation, in full knowledge of the zoning change, then asking the city for special treatment after the fact.

In a mad rush to complete its foundation so it could then claim a hardship, the developer completed the bulk of its foundation using illegal After Hours Work Variances, while failing repeatedly to comply with Department of Transportation safety requirements.

The city has been complicit in ignoring the law in order to help a developer beat the community, from delaying the rezoning for years to adding a bogus grandfather clause to granting illegal After Hours Variances, endangering public safety by closing streets in violation of the law, and now finally ignoring the hard-fought zoning law the community had won.

If Kalikow’s behavior is any indication of what the city is prepared to let developers get away with, then no law on the books will prevent developers from abusing the system and winning, until the courts step in.

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