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Carnegie Hill Neighbors Trash Homeowner's Private Driveway

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The gilded Upper East Side enclave of Carnegie Hill doesn't take kindly to folks upsetting the status quo, so the owner of the brownstone at 161 East 94th Street was already on the naughty list for adding a private garage to his house. Now he wants permission to add a curb cut, creating a private driveway, and things are getting really wacky. New Manhattan news site DNAinfo reports that homeowner Andreas Gruson was shot down 30-1 by a Community Board 8 committee, despite his pleas that the driveway and garage are necessary to provide access for his elderly father-in-law. He probably should have gone for the curb cut before building that garage, but he was too busy suing the city to exempt him from a law banning new parking-spot-stealing cuts. A Curbed tipster was actually in the CB8 crowd last night, and filed a report on the fireworks.

Some drama went down at the CB8 land use committee meeting. The guy who sued City Planning over the text amendment to limit curb cuts wants one for the garage he built into his brownstone on 94th street. The curb cut is technically legal under the current zoning (as of right) but won't be if the amendment goes thru. City planning asked CB8 to weigh in. Neighbors are neighbors. In the end the CB passed a resolution disapproving the guy's application for a cut. The whole thing was quite strange to begin with since the action was non-ULURP so the Board didn't really even need to pass judgment. I guess City Planning just wanted to get the CB's thoughts and the applicant came to the board as a courtesy. The Board had actually just passed a resolution in support of adopting the new zoning amendment that the City is circulating that would actually severely limit such curbed cuts for "buildings" under 40 feet wide.

Just to add some color, the Carnegie Hill Neighbors Association was also there in attendance and spoke out against the curbed cut. There must have been 50 people solely there to talk against the guy adding his garage.

Always fun to see these types of things play out in a very public forum.

Expect a 3,000-word Times op/ed from Tom Wolfe any second now.
· Upper East Side Neighbors Reject Man's Bid for a Private Driveway [DNAinfo]