It was a rare loss for attorney Eric Palatnik at Community Board 15 last week as members rejected a special permit application to enlarge a house on Beaumont Street.
The attorney for the project faced an angry group of neighbors who adamantly oppose the property owner’s bid to enlarge his house at 282 Beaumont Street.
The Board of Standards & Appeals will ultimately decide whether the homeowner gets the special permit needed to perform the work, but the application will be reviewed without the benefit of Community Board 15’s support.
Members overwhelmingly rejected the special permit after neighbors living near the esplanade on the south side of Oriental Boulevard challenged the figures found in the application.
“What you have there is a lot of baloney,” one man shouted from the back row of the Kingsborough Community College dining room.
The outburst earned a stern rebuke from Zoning Committee Chair Ronald Tawil.
If approved, the proposed enlargement would bring the Beaumont Street home’s existing 2400 square feet of space to almost 4,000 square feet. Palatnik called the jump “right on target for what the BSA has been approving for this community.”
Upset neighbors, however, would not be dissuaded.
“They’re planning a deck,” next-door neighbor Irwin Peters complained. “That’s a total invasion of my privacy. Parking there is impossible. All of the existing documents are fraudulent.”
Andrea Fallick, whose home at 280 Beaumont Street lies adjacent to 282 Beaumont Street, charged that the special permit would allow her neighbor to encroach on the already narrow space between their two homes, and even prevent emergency services access to her property.
“I have six kids under the age of ten and I fear for the safety of my children,” she said.
Samuel Fallick likened the entire special permit application to putting “lipstick on a pig.”
“You think you’re enhancing the character of the neighborhood but you’re not,” he said. “In fact, you’re doing the opposite. You’re painting a pretty picture on something that is very ugly and will be detrimental to the neighborhood,”
Judy Baron, chair of the Manhattan Beach Community Group’s Zoning Committee also challenged the application’s figures explaining that – according to her own measurements – the rear yard would not measure 20 feet as Palatnik asserted.
Neighbors critical of the proposed project also complained that the owner of the house does not even live on the premises and instead rents it out to tenants.
Palatnik had to concede that he does not know where his client resides.
Manhattan Beach resident and Community Board 15 member Dr. Oliver Klapper objected to the overall enlargement of the house because he said it would have the effect of moving entire house forward.
“You don’t have to be an architect to see the block will be changed,” he said.
©2008 Community News Group
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