As we all seek updates and hit refresh on vote counts, we are reminded of the importance of the democratic process and the faith we place in a system intentionally built with checks and balances. But what about when a governmental body purposefully impedes the peoples’ checks and balances?
We’re looking at you, BSA.
Today marks a full NINE months and NINE days since the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) issued a 2-2 tie vote on LW’s appeal against the 775-foot tall, but only 39 story, tower slated for 50 West 66th Street. (The one with the massively excessive mechanical voids used to jack up the height.)
BSA had a 2-2 tie vote on LW’s appeal on January 28, 2020
Way back then, pre-Covid, the BSA Commissioners voted two in favor of the community, two for the developer, and one abstaining due to conflicts.
This tie vote, unprecedented in modern memory, raises many questions. If we, LANDMARK WEST (i.e. the Community) accept it, the tie goes to the developer and it is done, over. The developer wins, with grandfathered rights to insert an empty 161-foot mechanical void at the 16th story.
But we know BSA is wrong in defending this abuse of zoning. This is not over, and we fully intend to file an appeal, known as an “Article 78”. Only we are not allowed to file it without a written report of that 2-2 decision from the BSA– which they have refused to provide for 9 months and 9 days…and counting!
BSA has refused to post a written decision for 9 months
The NYC City Charter’s section 666 (yes, we know…) outlines the BSA’s jurisdiction. They may:
govern the construction, alteration, maintenance, use, occupancy, safety, sanitary conditions, mechanical equipment and inspection of structures in the city…
Yet they have NO DEADLINE in this process. So much for checks and balances! The Developer can move forward with their building, but the community must sit and wait for a City agency to simply write up a decision made over 9 months ago and post it to their website. That’s it. Type+Post. This cannot be blamed on Covid: the BSA has continued to hold hearings and function for months. Just not on this. The BSA is denying the community its rights by endlessly stalling the process. Even when called out by local elected officials and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the BSA continues to shirk its responsibility.
We are forced to wait, but reaffirm our commitment
36 Years in, LW continues to fight for UWS issues, many with city-wide implications, and we fully intend to file our Article 78.
Once the decision is posted, we have 30 days to respond
Although the BSA has no time restrictions, we, the community, do. Once the 9-month and 9-day (and counting) decision is posted, LANDMARK WEST! and our lawyers have only 30 days to file an Article 78 and maintain legal standing. We are ready for this fight, but this takes funding.
Help us be 100% ready when the BSA stops stalling!
Every dollar given here goes straight to this fight-We are counting on you!