New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

The Real Deal

The Real Deal City considering crackdown on landlords who skirt zoning rules by Editorial

City considering crackdown on landlords who skirt zoning rules

The City Council will discuss 10 bills Wednesday aimed at tightening the rules that allow property owners to bend zoning regulations.

Council member Ben Kallos is sponsoring the proposed bills that will target the Board of Standards and Appeals, Crain’s reported. The board is able to approve applications from landlords who argue they need to surpass zoning laws in order to make a profit from a development. In some cases, according to the publication, owners ask that a height restriction be relaxed so that revenue-generating apartments can be built. In other circumstances an owner may say that a lot is oddly shaped and it is therefore impossible to conform to zoning laws.

In 2011, the board approved 97 percent of applications that came before it, many of which had been opposed at the local council level. Kallos believes the board is too lenient.

The Real Deal Tale of two tech companies: NYC welcomes Uber, while Airbnb faces new restrictions by Kathryn Brenzel

Tale of two tech companies: NYC welcomes Uber, while Airbnb faces new restrictions

“Uber engages with regulators and complies with regulation,” City Council member Ben Kallos said. “And Airbnb does whatever it wants in violation of the law.”

The Real Deal City Council finally schedules hearing on Rivington scandal by The Real Deal

City Council finally schedules hearing on Rivington scandal

Council members Vincent Gentile and Ben Kallos will lead the hearing on Sept. 29, which will focus on how the city approved the lifting of a deed restriction on the Lower East Side nursing home earlier this year.

Following the lifting of the restriction, landlord Allure Group sold the property to Slate Property Group and its partners Adam America and China Vanke for a $72 million profit. The new owners plan to convert the building into luxury condos, though city agencies to date have prevented construction from starting. The Real Deal put together a video explaining the whole saga.http://therealdeal.com/2016/09/01/city-council-finally-schedules-hearin…

The Real Deal New legislation hopes to combat tenant blacklists by Kathryn Brenzel

New legislation hopes to combat tenant blacklists

New proposed legislation aims to help tenants blacklisted for their history in housing court.

Councilman Benjamin Kallos on Tuesday introduced legislation to the council’s Consumer Affairs Committee that would force screening companies to provide landlords with fuller descriptions of housing court cases. The measure is intended to combat overzealous tenant blacklists, which are compiled by tenant-screening data companies based on housing court records.

Housing attorneys argue that the blacklist is riddled with errors and fails to show when a tenant won a case, the New York Times reported. After two years of being homeless, Margot Miller, 68, recently was denied housing at an apartment for low-income seniors when the owner discovered that she had been sued by her previous landlord.

The Real Deal Channeling scofflaw Trump, land use chair says it’s time to make public spaces great again by Rich Bockmann

Channeling scofflaw Trump, land use chair says it’s time to make public spaces great again

The Council bill, backed by members Ben Kallos and Donovan Richards, would require the Department of City Planning to create a map of the spaces and report twice a year on the status of each POPS. It would also mandate the DOB to report annually on complaints and violations.

The Real Deal AG forces DDG to refile condo plans for 180 East 88th Street by The Real Deal

AG forces DDG to refile condo plans for 180 East 88th Street

In May, City Council member Ben Kallos accused DDG of violating the spirit of zoning laws.

Amid complaints from community advocates, the city’s Department of Buildings launched an audit of the project and issued a temporary stop work order.

The Real Deal DDG exploiting zoning loophole for UES condo tower: Kallos by The Real Deal

DDG exploiting zoning loophole for UES condo tower: Kallos

City Council Member Ben Kallos is accusing Joe McMillan’s DDG Partners of using a novel tactic to expand the size of its planned Upper East Side condo tower that Kallos says violates the spirit of the city’s zoning regulations.

The developer filed to alter the tax lot at 180 East 88th Street back in 2014, seeking to slice off a narrow, four-foot strip of the property. The change, which was eventually approved, allowed the developer to skirt requirements for buildings abutting the street, which in turn allowed DDG to build its planned tower a full 60 feet higher, opponents charge.

The “sole purpose” of the alteration, Kallos wrote in a letter to the city’s Department of Buildings, was “to frustrate the intent of the zoning resolution,” the New York Times reported.

The Real Deal Advocates, council members push for rent roll back by Claire Moses

Advocates, council members push for rent roll back

“While last year I pushed for a rent freeze … this year I am joining with the tenant advocates in calling for a rent rollback,” City Council member Margaret Chin said as cited by Capital. Council members Corey Johnson, Dan Garodnick, Ben Kallos, Jumaane Williams, Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine also attended the meeting and called for a rent rollback.

The Real Deal Bill would require a city planner to attend every community board meeting by Mark Maurer

Bill would require a city planner to attend every community board meeting

City Council member Ben Kallos plans to introduce a bill today requiring that a city planner attend every meeting held by the city’s 59 community boards.

Kallos said the bill intends to give communities a more active role in the land use review process, the Gotham Gazette reported. The bill would form a planning department in the five borough president offices. There would be at least one professional urban planner on staff for each community board.

The Real Deal Upper East Side station will triple cost to transfer waste: study by Mark Maurer

Upper East Side station will triple cost to transfer waste: study

The proposed Upper East Side waste-transfer station would cost triple what the city currently pays to transport garbage through the borough, according to a study from the Independent Budget Office.

Moving garbage to New Jersey and Yonkers for incineration would cost $278 per ton through the controversial station, rather than $93 per ton, as it does now. Over the next 20 years, the city would pay $632 million to dispose of Manhattan’s trash with the new station at East 91st Street. The price tag now is $253 million.

“The per-ton export cost is higher under the MTS option due to the more costly multimodal method of transporting the waste from the transfer station to its final destination via barge and rail,” a spokesperson for the Independent Budget Office told the New York Post.

City Council member Ben Kallos of the Upper East Side requested the study in April.