Recently, the Manhattan Supreme Court issued a decision regarding the definition of zoning lots. The issue before the court was whether the New York City zoning regulations mandate that a zoning lot containing more than one tax lot (a “combined zoning lot”) must include the entire tax lot or can it include a portion of a tax lot. See The Committee for Environmental Sound Development v. Amsterdam Avenue Development Associates LLC, 2019 WL 1206357 (N.Y. Sup.), 2019 N.Y. Slip Op. 30621 (U) (Trial Order) Hon. W. Franc Perry).
The matter involved three proceedings. First, an application was submitted to the New York City Department of Buildings (the DOB) seeking a permit to construct a 55-story residential building based on a combined zoning lot that included partial tax lots. Second, the DOB permit was appealed by a local civic group to the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (the BSA) alleging that the combined zoning lot’s use of partial tax lots did not comply with zoning regulations. Third, after the BSA rejected the appeal and upheld the permit based on a finding that the combined zoning lot was zoning compliant, a lawsuit was filed alleging that the combined zoning lot was faulty and that the BSA was in error. The court reversed the BSA and held that the plain language of the zoning regulations prohibited a combined zoning lot from including portions of tax lots.
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