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July 29, 2006 / Brooklyn news / Development / Around Brooklyn

City blocks South Slope building, ‘Minerva’ next

The Brooklyn Paper
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And the tower shall not rise over 15th Street.

After months of courtroom haggling, the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals has voted unanimously to stop a controversial 11-story condo being built in the South Slope.

“It was a definite victory,” said Aaron Brashear, a community activist fighting out-of-scale development in the low-rise neighborhood.

Developer Isaac Katan began building the 131-foot condo at 182 15th St. last year just before a neighborhood-wide rezoning went into effect that forbade new buildings higher than 50-feet.

Katan argued that he had completed enough of the building to be grandfathered in under the prior zoning. But on Tuesday, the BSA ruled that he hadn’t.

Now Katan will have to submit new plans.

Next on the BSA docket is the so-called Minerva building at 614 Seventh Ave., which became the emblem of the neighborhood struggle last year because its size threatened to block a historic view between a statue of Minerva in Green-Wood Cemetery and the Statue of Liberty.

Its builder also argued that he had completed enough of the foundation before the new zoning kicked in.

The BSA will rule on Aug. 22.

Brashear is confident that his group has the momentum.

“Now that they have come out with a strong stance against illegal activity, we are confident that they will take other cases seriously as well,” he said.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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