Moore Hall: Lawyer Magic – Creating Land Out Of Words

Here is an another example of just how much Bonacio Construction and Norstar Development have to push the limits of logic to achieve their goal for Moore Hall.

As people know, the current zoning only allows eighteen units on their parcel and they want to put in fifty-three.

Common sense would suggest that they would ask for a “density” variance .ie increase the density.  The problem is that the zoning allows for bonuses based on providing housing for seniors (50%), providing a recreation resource (20%), or open space (20%).  Their need exceeds these bonuses even if they could provide the required services.  Thus, they cannot ask for an increase in density.

So they are asking for an “area variance.”  They are asking to “virtually (as compared to actually)” expand their parcel so that it will be big enough to hold fifty-three units.  In order to get fifty-three units they would need to expand the existing parcel of land with an additional 102,807 square feet or two and a half acres.  This is three times what the actual parcel is.  So they want the Zoning Board Of Appeals to consider their parcel to be three times what it is so that it can handle the fifty-three units.

To put this in perspective they would need a piece of land two and a half times the size of a regulation football field (48,000 sqf). 

Football Field

How about the size of 21 college basketball courts (50X94)?


How about 36 tennis courts?


Russell Pittenger is the source of these graphics and this analysis.  As Russell Pittenger has pointed out “The zoning code was written to prevent, or at least discourage, the abuses that can result from too much density forced onto too small a site.  Like rats in a trap, the close quarters will exacerbate vehicular/pedestrian conflicts, jeopardize emergency vehicle response time and degrade the quality of life of the neighborhood residents.”


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