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CB18 votes against five-story development

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A plan to erect a five-story apartment building on Nostrand Avenue hit a snag on Oct. 16, when Community Board 18 voted to ask the city to refuse the variance needed to build the tower.

“The entire block is upset about it,” said Ted Hechtman, who lives nearby on Marine Parkway.

Lisjen Realty LLC wants to build the 26-unit apartment building where the Dynasty 21 car wash currently stands, rising five-stories including the penthouse.

But in order to build up to that height, the developers would need a variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals allowing them to exceed the height limits of the Marine Park neighborhood’s R3-2 zoning, which only allows buildings up to 35 feet tall, or about three stories.

Hechtman and his neighbors worry that a five-story tower would not only blot out the sun, but also give its residents peep-show access into their backyards.

“The mere height of it is an intrusion into our quality of life,” said Hechtman.

At the CB18 meeting, where the developer was represented by attorney Marvin Mitzner, district manager Dorothy Turano suggested some tweaks to the design that would make the project easier for the community board to support.

The first compromise was eliminating the penthouse apartment, thus reducing the building to a more palatable four stories. The second idea was to eliminate those windows that would allow residents to peer down on their low-lying neighbors.

But Mitzner declined both of Turano’s suggestions, and the board responded by voting 34–2 against the apartment project.

Hechtman also argued that if the new high-rise development is allowed to go forward, it would create a bad precedent and lure other developers wanting to build big.

“It’s a Trojan horse,” said Hechtman. “Once they put this thing there, I as a builder would come in say, ‘well that building is five-stories tall, nobody’s going to mind a four-story building.’ ”

Mitzner did not return calls for comment.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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