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CB 8 denies variance for Jamaica Hill property

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The construction was issued a stop-work order last February because it did not conform to the neighborhood's recently changed zoning laws. But the developer claimed he had permits by December 2004 for the pair of identical three-family semi-detached homes on 167th Street that allowed for work to continue even though the rezoning had passed two months before. He also, according to his attorney, Jordan Most, who spoke at Monday's Community Board 8 committee hearing, had the foundations laid before the Oct. 13, 2004 downzoning limited Jamaica Hill to one- and two-family detached homes.

"This is a project that commenced before the change," Most said at the public hearing at Parsons Junior High.

But he also admitted that construction resumed illegally for a time without a permit - a reason why some residents and zoning committee members ultimately rejected the request to finish the development.

"I'd be far more sympathetic of this plight if the law was followed," board member Kevin Forrestal said.

In the end, five committee members voted against the application and four voted in favor. The issue now heads to a full CB 8 vote Feb. 8. If it is turned down there, the matter will go before the Board of Standards and Appeals without the backing of the board.

Reach reporter Zach Pataberg at news@timesledger.com or at 718-229-0300, ext. 155.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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