Is the BSA taking the “micro” trend too far?

July 13, 2012 03:00PM

While Mayor Michael Bloomberg proudly announced plans to develop “micro” apartments in Manhattan this week, residents in Staten Island were bemoaning the city’s decision to allow for a house on a micro lot in Port Richmond.

According to the Staten Island Advance, despite a unanimous vote against the proposal by the community board, the Board of Standards and Appeals granted Cee Jay Real Estate Development Corp. a zoning variance to build on a lot that measures just 17 feet wide in front and 11 feet wide at its rear.

Cee Jay will build a 1,344-square-foot, two-story single-family home on the lot, at 8 Orange Avenue. Though neighbors complain that the home would crowd their picturesque suburban block of detached homes — and offer just eight feet of buffer between it and the adjacent home — the board said it would not “alter the essential character” of the neighborhood.

The board also reasoned that because the city itself sold the parcel (city owned it from 1954 through 1993) to a private developer, it indended for it to be developed. Otherwise, “it could have retained ownership of the lot.”

In response, a columnist for the paper writes that the board “rolls over on almost every appeal from developers” and cares little for neighborhood character when property tax revenue is at stake. [SI Advance]