Friday, February 21, 2020

NYC woman 'ecstatic' as judge orders 20 floors cut from already built condo. Olive Freud says she has no sympathy for developers ordered to deconstruct and cut 20 floors from their condo

If the City of St. Augustine Beach had any courage, it would have issued a similar remedial order for perverse disgraced then-Mayor RICHARD BURTT O'BRIEN's two illegally constructed McMansions on F Street.

We need more perspicacious citizens here, people like Olive Freud.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

As It Happens

NYC woman 'ecstatic' as judge orders 20 floors cut from already built condo

Olive Freud says she has no sympathy for developers ordered to deconstruct and cut 20 floors from their condo

Olive Freud at a rally to stop development of the condo at 200 Amsterdam Ave. in New York City. (West Side Rag)
Olive Freud just sent a wake-up call to any developers looking to skirt the law. 
On Feb. 13, a judge in New York ruled that a new 668-foot tall condo exceeds legal zoning limits. The Upper West Side building used a zoning loophole to get approval, which the court ruled should never have been granted.
The massive condo is nearly complete. But according to Justice W. Franc Perry, that doesn't give the developers a pass. And now, he has ordered them to lop off 20 completed storeys from the highrise building. 
As It Happens host Carol Off spoke to Freud, who lives in the neighborhood and has been organizing the campaign to fight the development. Here is part of their conversation.
What did you think when you heard what this judge ordered the developers of the condo unit to do?
We were ecstatic. It's been a while and it drags on but we finally got the judge to say the right thing.
How advanced is this construction?
Well, the structure is there. I don't think there's anything on the inside.
And how tall is it?
It's 668 feet. It's a tall, thin building and it's near Lincoln Center. The tall buildings there are about 300 feet high. But this really sticks out, honey. It's the tallest building in our neighborhood.
The nearly completed 668-foot condo tower at 200 Amsterdam Ave. on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.(Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
OK. So, it's 52 stories tall, right? 
And 20 of those stories have to come off.
It's not that easy to explain. The zoning law determines square footage that they can build. And this building stands on 10,000 square feet. But when they started building, when they went to the building department with their plans, they came out with 110,000 square feet.
That's what the lawsuit is about — that it's an illegal zoning lot. You can buy air rights but you have to buy them, right.
What was the zoning loophole that they exploited to do this?
These people went in and they zigzagged all around the place, picking up little lawns and pieces here and there — completely illegal.
They bought the rights based on these little bits of land they had and then they could transfer it. 
Yes. They call it the 39-side zoning lot, the gerrymandered zoning lot.
That was the shape of their zoning lot that they claimed that they had? 
Now, how does it change your neighbourhood, this construction, this building? 
It's a precedent we can't allow. There are other developers who are just looking around to see if they could do something like that. Of course, all the developers want tall buildings. The apartments on top they sell with views. But what does it do to the people who live below? 
I mean, it's taking our space, our sun, our light and leaving us in the shadows.

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