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Mount Vernon Zoning Board Denies Variances

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Zoning Board of Appeals shot down a request from Bayview Real Estate for eight separate variances to build an 18-unit apartment building at 100 Lorraine Terrace.

Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Irwin Davidson said the property owner originally wanted to construct one or two single-family homes with fill he would transport from the Bronx to Mount Vernon. But along the way, New York State ruled that, under new environmental laws, the type of fill material Bayview wanted to use would not be allowed.

Bayview argued that the only way for the company to regain the money it lost was to build an 18-unit building that would require several variances. Davidson and the other five board members agreed, saying that because it was a business decision, it was not an “unnecessary hardship.” Board member Karl Scully said the hardship was self-created.

“The applicant is a contractor who should be familiar with this line of work and should have done his due diligence,” Scully said.

Neighbors also had complained about the building potentially changing the neighborhood. Scully said giving the variances would be a case of “spot zoning,” which has a tendency to change the quality of the neighborhood of the existing structures.

“There is a multi-family building nearby on Lincoln Avenue, but that is a major thoroughfare and this neighborhood is set aside from that,” Scully said. “This is a set aside, quiet area and to build an apartment building there would be inconsistent with what’s there now.”

Davidson said the decision by the board will be filed with the city clerk’s office a,nd Bayview will have an option of bring a lawsuit against the city if it chooses to. The case would then move to the courts for a potential appeal.

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