Can They Build That? Find out tomorrow night.

Ever wonder “Can they build that?” when you see one of those grotesque out-of-scale and out-of-context flashy renderings a developer, or even the Mayor, publicize to the world?  Zoning regulations and landmark protections generally determine what is allowed to be built on a site, but what if an owner wants to build outside of that, to increase their profit, or because they have a verifiable unique circumstance? Tomorrow you can learn about a little-known city agency that considers such issues every day!

There are still a few seats left for what should be a very informative panel discussion about the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals tomorrow night, Thursday, April 27, at 6:00 pm — RSVP (which is required) here.


You’ll be able to learn more about what the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals is, what they regulate, and what goes into their considerations of variance applications.

This obscure city body holds tremendous sway over what gets built in New York City. Property owners, developers, and institutions can apply to the BSA to extend beyond zoning limitations to build bigger, taller, or for different uses.

At this panel, stakeholders will discuss their experiences with the BSA, as well as current efforts to reform the system. Hear from organizations, labor representatives and residents from different communities that highlight the public need for greater transparency and access to information.

SEIU 32BJ members at BSA public hearing speaking out against variance application, January 2017.

Panelists include GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Bemran; Landmark West! President Kate Wood; Jonathan Hogstad, SEIU Local 32BJ; Aries De La Cruz, Coalition to Defend Woodside & Little Manila and Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the New York City Council Governmental Operations Committee.

Visual by Landmark West!

Council Member Kallos recently held hearings on a raft of legislation designed to reform and improve the BSA.  You can read the bills here.

Council Member Ben Kallos chairing the hearing on BSA reform.

The program is co-sponsored by the NYU Department of Art History & Urban Design and Architecture Studies and moderated by Professor Jon Ritter.

Don’t miss out!  RSVP here before tomorrow night.

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Harry Bubbins