On Demand

Zoning Variances and the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals

1h 18m

Created on June 27, 2017




The Board of Standards and Appeals ("BSA") plays a critical, if sometimes unappreciated, role in the regulation of land use, development, and construction in New York City. This course, presented by land use attorney Howard Goldman, will focus on what is arguably the most important task of the BSA-the issuance of zoning variances. Other tasks, including administrative appeals, vesting cases and special permits, are beyond the scope of this 75-minute class.   

The Zoning Resolution regulates use, bulk, and parking on virtually every parcel of privately- and City-owned land within the 300 square miles that comprise New York City. Inevitably, situations will arise in which the general zoning regulations do not work as intended on a specific property due to unique physical conditions. The BSA was established to hear applications for relief in these situations and, where appropriate, grant variances to modify or waive provisions of the Zoning Resolution to alleviate the hardship.            

On May 30, 2017, the City Council enacted nine separate local laws changing the procedures by which the BSA reviews and decides applications for variances and special permits.  This course will review the effects of these laws on practitioners, the public, and the overall role of the BSA in land use.       

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the composition and organization of the BSA
  2. Discuss the BSA Rules of Practice and Procedure
  3. Review the BSA "five findings"
  4. Identify the various components of a variance application
  5. Comprehend the BSA's public review procedures
  6. Provide an overview of BSA decisions and challenges

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