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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

Application C030513ZSM – A Special Permit for a Public Parking Garage at 271 West 47th Street

WHEREAS, The applicant, The Biltmore LLC, received approval for a 62 space accessory garage in October 2001 and this garage has been operational since the building opened in 2003 and has been run by Central Parking; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is requesting a special permit pursuant to Sections 13-562 and 74-52 of the Zoning Resolution to operate an attendant public parking garage with 60 spaces and 10 reservoir spaces; and

WHEREAS, The original application was filed in October 2003 but the applicant did not pursue the application until March 2007 because the building was awaiting its final Certificate of Occupancy which was awarded in October 2006; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is seeking to exempt from the floor area 1,740 square feet used as a ramp to the garage since they were exempted when it was an accessory garage; and

WHEREAS, A previous Environment Impact Assessment did not anticipate more than 50 cars entering and exiting the garage in peak hours so a new assessment was not warranted; and

WHEREAS, Although the garage was found to be already operating as a public (not an accessory) garage by the Department of City Planning as part of the inspection process for the special permit, subsequently the applicant has taken corrective action by informing Central Parking, which operates the garage, that it must be run as an accessory garage and that allowing transient parking jeopardizes their lease; and

WHEREAS, Subsequent visits by the Department of City Planning have found the operator has stopped running the garage as a public parking garage; and

WHEREAS, The permit for the accessory garage limits its use to residents of the building, visitors to the building and attendees of shows at the Biltmore Theatre; and

WHEREAS, The applicant found that allowing access to the garage to only one group of theatre-goers (patrons of the Biltmore Theatre) in the middle of the theatre district created confusion and was impractical; and

WHEREAS, The location in the middle of Theatre District is indeed a logical one for a public garage; and

WHEREAS, Although the Community Board has frequently disapproved applications to legalize existing illegal uses, because the owner has attempted in good faith to rectify it, and because issuance of a Special Permit will not change the actual use of the garage nor add to vehicular congestion in the area; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board 5 recommends approval of application C030513ZSM for special permit for an attendant public parking garage at 271 West 47th Street.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 28 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining.

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