Nothing’s easy in the Bronx, where botanists are tough

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Fordham University’s WFUV has withstood for the third time a neighbor’s challenge to its plan to complete a 480-foot transmitting tower on its Bronx campus.

The state Supreme Court in Manhattan upheld June 12 [1996] previous rulings of New York City’s Buildings Department and its Board of Standards and Appeals, which accepted the tower as a valid accessory use of the university.

But many obstacles remain. The neighboring New York Botanical Garden, which opposes the tower as a blight on its horizon, expects to appeal the court ruling and points out that the city zoning regulators still want Fordham to move the half-built tower 25 feet to make it legal, and that the Federal Aviation Administration has yet to approve the tower.

Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam dissed the garden’s esthetic argument. The “outcry” by the botanical garden “is simply not justified,” she wrote. “No suggestion is to be found that petitioner will suffer any significant economic harm. Indeed, there is no perceivable injury unless it is some unredressable, speculative and unspecified chimera lost in the multiple variants of esthetics.”

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