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Special Permit Appeal Hearing

Help us repeal Special Permit ZR Section 73-622 in Dyker Heights

Community Board 10’s application to repeal the Special Permit Section 73-622 is moving into the next phase of the review process. A public hearing is scheduled at  Brooklyn Borough Hall on Thursday, July 28th at 6:00 PM, before a formal review by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. This is a critical piece of legislation that encourages the development of illegal conversions in Dyker Heights and needs to be repealed immediately.

View more of the event details here on our website

What is the Special Permit?

The Special Permit section 73-622 allows certain homeowners to apply for a special permit for the expansion of floor-area and 10-foot encroachments into the required 30-foot backyards. Many neighborhoods in Brooklyn, including Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Kings Bay, Borough Park, Midwood and Flatbush are subject to the Special Permit.

Why was the Special Permit implemented?

Community Board 10 adopted the Special Permit zoning rule 20 years ago to encourage families to stay in the area, rather than moving to other neighborhoods for bigger homes. The idea was to entice families to “grow in place,” to add a needed room for a new baby or an extra alcove. In practice, however, the special permits pose the risk of attracting developers and investors because of the potential to use it to illegally convert homes into SROs. 

How does this relate to illegal conversions? Why should it be repealed?

Developers and investors can use the Special Permit to enlarge their property and make SROs that contain even more units. This abuse of the Special Permit would negate protections against overdevelopment that many community members and representatives fought for over a decade ago. The Special Permit ZR Section 73-622 will only give these opportunists more of an incentive to cause destruction in our neighborhood, thus changing the very character of our community and eliminate the reasons why so many of us, for so long, have called this place home.  If we don’t repeal the Special Permit for Community Board 10 we will be legitimizing and encouraging this illegal behavior.


NDTV: Illegal Conversion Malpractice

Original article here.  Please use Google Chrome to fully translate the article.

Press Conference Today in Dyker Heights – Aggravated Illegal Conversion Legislation

On the eve of the introduction of their Aggravated Illegal Conversion Bill, Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Brooklyn) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will hold a press conference on Monday, June 20th at 5:00PM in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn at St Ephrem’s Church 929 Bay Ridge Parkway Brooklyn, NY 11228 (between Fort Hamilton Parkway and 10th Avenue) near an alleged aggravated illegal conversion site. This legislation, LS 4115, co-sponsored by Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) as well as Council Member Barry Grodenchik (D-Queens), would establish the immediately hazardous DOB violation of Aggravated Illegal Conversions — defined as three or more illegal dwelling units being created within one structure.

For each qualifying illegal unit, the owner of an illegally converted building would be fined $15,000. This fine would immediately create a lien on the building upon an ECB judgment. If left unpaid, the lien could be included in a lien sale. In addition, aggravated illegal conversions would be added to the list of offenses for which a vacate order could be issued due to immediately hazardous conditions. Additionally, if inspectors from DOB fail to gain entry to premises after several attempts, this legislation provides the means by which DOB would be required through request to the Corporation Counsel (Law Department) to seek a warrant to gain entry.

Illegal conversions pose serious harm for the safety of current and future dwellers as well as first responders. Construction LLC’s are habitually abusing self-certification at the expense of the safety of future inhabitants. LS 4115 seeks to heavily penalize bad actors and eradicate the proliferation of illegal conversions for the safety of residents and for the preservation of quality of life in our neighborhoods.

This is a huge step forward and we hope to see all of you there! Your presence will show our elected officials that we care about our community and won’t let illegal conversions destroy it.

Conversion Reversion: Finally, Some Progress

// The Brooklyn Daily // By: Max Jaeger // June 22, 2015 //

The Department of Buildings has at last stepped up enforcement against illegally converted homes in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, residents say. Locals have long battled the practice of dicing one-and two-family homes into multi-family apartments without city permits and contrary to building codes — now residents and the city are advancing the line of scrimmage, according to local leaders.

 “We seem to be making some progress,” said Bob Cassara, who heads the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance. “Out of the last four or five complaints, we’ve gotten four stop-work orders.”

Home Reporter Exclusive: DOB moves to revoke permits for Bay Ridge Parkway SROs

// The Home Reporter // Originally posted: March 12 // By: Helen Klein //

Just a week after a standing-room-only town hall brought Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge residents face to face with representatives of the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB), the agency has responded to specific concerns raised at the meeting by revoking the permits for two Bay Ridge Parkway homes that residents contend have been converted into illegal single room occupancy buildings.

The agency confirmed on Thursday, March 12 that, “The Brooklyn Borough Office has sent the applicant Notices to Revoke their permits” to the owners of 978 and 928 Bay Ridge Parkway, which – over the past several months – have become poster children for a problem that residents say is overspreading the community, wreaking havoc with the quality of life.

View the original article here.

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