Senator Golden's Statement to the Board of Standards and Appeals regarding 2230-34 Kimball Street on October 18th
I come here before you today to express the utmost opposition to the legalization of 2230-2234 Kimball Street. I have been involved in the procedures for this building for the better part of a decade. It is with great disappointment that I hear the Kimball Group comes before you. My staff and I have been in contact with the building owners many times over the years and they have been aware of their overbuilding for some time now. The fact that they have come here in attempt to blatantly defy their agreements with the community to take down the illegal overbuilding is further reason to deny their request.
The area has been zoned R-4 since 1961. They knowingly overbuilt by twice the floor area ratio allowed by the 2001 standards and the 2004 standards further restricted this type of building which they grossly contradict. It is the tallest building in Marine Park and is clearly out of character with the neighborhood. Hundreds of neighbors have signed a petition that I have provided to this board. The Marine Park Civic Association and Community Board 18 have voiced their opposition numerous times, as well. Taking all of these factors into account should make it clear that the building is out of character and does not deserve legalization.
The arguments made by the Kimball Group cannot withstand the aforementioned issues. I understand that they claim a hardship but their hardship is self imposed. They knowingly went beyond the legal building based on zoning regulations. In June of 2008 I issued a statement after their agreement to remove the top floor. Nevertheless three years later there are still 10 violations from the Department of Buildings and 13 from the Environmental Control Board. The numbers here are so minimal only because there has been a stop work order in effect for so many years. These hard financial times are affecting the City and their failure to pay these violations contributes to their disregard of authority. If they are unable to act within the law they can file for bankruptcy like so many other businesses have had to do over the last few years.
It is with extreme disgust that the Marine Park community continues to look at this monstrosity. For over six years, myself and my office have been receiving complaints regarding this building. I have discussed the issues with the Department of Buildings, the Law Department, the Department of City Planning and your Board of Standards and Appeals. Despite all of these conversations and requests the building remains an eyesore for the community. I hope that today we can finally come to the correct resolution so the Kimball group can remove the illegal floors and the empty building can be occupied and become an asset rather than a drain on the community.