Upper West Side neighbors have filed a lawsuit to stop SJP Properties’ building at 200 Amsterdam Avenue.
The 668-feet tall project was given the go-ahead by the city’s Department of Buildings and Board of Standards of Appeals despite neighborhood challenges to its design.
The Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, along with Councilmember Helen Rosenthal and preservationist groups Landmark West! and the Municipal Art Society, filed challenges with the DOB and BSA alleging the developers are using an illegal carved-out zoning lot to create the building.
“The problem is that the building is way out of scale for the neighborhood,” said Olive Freud, the committee’s president. “It’s illegal and it’s very harmful to the thousands of people who live here in the neighborhood.”
But the team behind 200 Amsterdam Avenue said it has done nothing wrong.
An SJP spokesperson said that the building’s zoning permits were “exhaustively reviewed” by the DOB and BSA and fully conform with the city’s zoning laws.
He called the lawsuit “a last-ditch attempt by a well-funded group of NIMBY activists whose previous efforts to block this as-of-right development have failed at every turn.
“We are confident that this lawsuit will be dismissed, as have all previous challenges, on the grounds that this project is fully compliant with NYC’s zoning resolution.”
With the BSA approval in hand, the spokesman said the developer “continues to make unabated construction progress.”
The row comes as Councilmember Rosenthal questioned zoning laws that she said often result in projects that are out of context with neighbrohoods.
Rosenthal said, “The painful truth is that that framework is currently incapable of addressing the core problem that the Upper West Side and so many other communities in our city are having.
‟Develoeprs are exploiting loopholes in the city zoning resolution this has resulted in gerrymandered zoning lots like 2at 00 Amsterdam which undlerines the integity of the land use process.”
Rosenthal has called for “fundamental changes” to zoning laws overall.