Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reply from Mr. Kenneth Lazar, D.O.B.

In an earlier post, (see July 1, below), we urged readers to copy/paste a letter to Ms. Patricia Lancaster at the Department of Buildings. Thanks to all of you who did so! Today CG CORD and several individuals received the following reply from Mr. Kenneth Lazar:

From: Kenneth Lazar
Liaison for Intergovernmental & Community Affairs
New York City Department of Buildings
210 Joralemon Street - 8th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

I have been asked to respond to your e-mail to Commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster, FAIA.

Currently Robert Scarano, Jr. is a Registered Architect in the State of New York. Even though he no longer participates in the Professional Certification Program, by law he is entitled to file plans with the New York City Department of Buildings for review.
Currently, the building at 360 Smith Street has been approved for 7 stories (Job # 302290777). The height is listed at 70 feet but will exceed that when the size of the elevator and staircase bulkheads are added, which are not counted towards the maximum allowed height.

Building Pavement Plans (BPP) Job #302337638 are always filed separately from a New Building (NB) application and in most cases are approved and permitted prior to the approval and permitting of the new building.

The Department of Buildings ensures the safe and lawful use of over 950,000 buildings and properties in New York City by enforcing the Building Code and Zoning Resolution. For more information about a specific property or to obtain the status of a permit, complaint, or inspection, you may visit our online Buildings Information System at

CG CORD then asked the following new question to Mr. Lazar:
Dear Mr.Lazar,
Thank you for your prompt reply.
Although you say that the job number shows that the building will be built to seventy feet, and seven stories high (exclusive of elevator and stair bulkheads), why does some of the paperwork list the building at varying heights from six up to eight stories. Which is correct? Seven or eight? If eight is the correct number, wouldn't that increase the overall height?
Thank you again

Which Mr. Lazar then answered:

From: Kenneth Lazar
Date: Jul 11, 2007 1:36 PM
Subject: Re: 360 Smith Street

The building will be 7.

Why does Mr.Lazar never once address the conflicting number of stories on the DOB paperwork even though the DOB was asked in the original letter to Ms. Patricia Lancaster, and Mr. Lazar was specifically asked after his initial response? ......


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........