Hit a roadblock: Panel pans developer’s plan to sidestep new-building parking requirements

Hit a roadblock: Panel pans developer’s plan to sidestep new-building parking requirements
Keep our spots!: Residents of Sheepshead Bay and Community Board 15 say there is not enough parking to eliminate 30 spots on the busy one-way E. 16th Street in order to make way for a five-story mixed-use building here.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

They drive a hard bargain.

Community Board members are demanding the city reject a developer’s bid to skirt parking requirements for a planned five-story office building in Sheepshead Bay. Developer Elijah Realty aims to erect a medical office on E. 16th Street near Sheepshead Bay Road and is asking the city for two special dispensations that would reduce the off-street parking it is legally required to build from 30 spaces to zero. Members of Community Board 15 called the plan ridiculous when the builder’s lawyer came asking for their support on March 22.

“To even propose putting up a five-story building to end up with zero parking, is utterly, utterly ridiculous in Southern Brooklyn,” said board member Ira Teper.

The city determines the number of required parking spaces for new developments based on the proposed building’s square footage, and the planned office would require just under 30 spots. But because it will be a medical office, the owner is seeking a special permit to cut that requirement in half — leaving the builder on the hook for just under 15 spots. Developers required to build 15 or fewer parking spaces can ask the Department of Buildings for a waiver to build none — and that’s what Elijah Realty plans to do, according to zoning attorney Erik Palatnik, who is representing the builder.

Palatnik contends his office did a study proving there’s plenty of parking to go around in that section of Sheepshead Bay.

“It’s anticipated, due to our location next to the train station — as well as municipal lots in the area and on-street parking — that we will be able to accommodate any required parking,” he said.

But board members — who are all too familiar with parking-related struggles in Sheepshead Bay — voted 35–1 to not support the proposal, pointing out that parking is anything but readily available.

“We have a dire need for parking,” said board member Maurice Kolodin, who upped the ante on Teper’s criticism. “It’s ludicrous. I’d like to top [‘ridiculous’] with ludicrous.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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