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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

110 West 57th St., Director's Guild of America, application for extension of vairance for usage as motion picutre theatre

WHEREAS, In March 1950 the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) granted a 21-year variance to the Directors Guild of America (DGA) to allow 4,110 square feet of 110 West 57th Street, a building owned by the DGA and in which it also maintains offices, to be used as a motion picture theater; and

WHEREAS, After the initial 21-year variance expired, the BSA granted four subsequent 10-year renewals of the variance, in 1971, 1982, 1995, and 2003, ten years being the maximum period permitted for renewals, and now the DGA has applied for an additional 10-year renewal to its variance; and

WHEREAS, Although the DGA could operate this theater space for private screenings of works by its members as an accessory use without a variance, because the screenings are open to the public, a variance is required because motion picture use is in Use Group 8 and thus not allowed due to the building's C5-3 Zoning; and

WHEREAS, In the theater's 62-year history of operation there have been no recorded violations issued to the building regarding the theater use; there are no records of complaints from the public per CB5's office, the BSA, or the office of the City Council member in whose district the theater is located; and no member of the public came to speak to the Land Use & Zoning Committee meeting at which the applicant presented the proposed renewal; and

WHEREAS, The building and theater are located in a commercial neighborhood, one that since its last BSA variance renewal, has retained its commercial character; and

WHEREAS, By being permitted to operate as a motion picture theater open to the public as opposed to being a private screening room, this theater space will continue as a popular community amenity; and therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the application of BSA # 849-49 BZ, 110 West 57th Street, Directors Guild of America, Inc., application for extension of terms for a variance to allow a portion of the building (4,110 s.f.) to be used for motion picture theater use (Use Group 8) contrary to the building's C5-3 Zoning.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 38 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining.

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