Please Comment On LPC Rules Changes, Update On Keep The Cap

Please comment on LPC Rules Changes!

There is still time to comment on LPC rules changes.
Public notice and the opportunity to comment are essential to good government.
Sign on to GVSHP’s letter today! 

Neighbors, elected officials, Community Boards and preservationists turned out in force to voice concerns about the proposed set of changes to Landmarks Preservation Commission rules.

With no public notice of applications or decisions made, and no opportunity to review or challenge applications, these will be presented as facts to LPC Staff, who are pressed to operate beyond capacity by the sheer volume of applications in today’s fast-paced market. Much to neighbors’ dismay, distressed historic family homes are being bought up and renovated for quick profit.

Rear yard and rooftop additions are of particular concern. Our shared courtyards were designed to bring light and air into our apartments. The trend toward converting this essential space into rooftop decks and rear balconies, to be used by a few, negatively impacts everyone else’s quality of life. Preservation is not just about how buildings look from the street: it’s about how buildings function, and what they were designed to do. Decisions that affect the public should include public input!

Read the Historic District Council’s comprehensive comments and testimony here. 

Read CB 3 Executive Committee’s resolution here.
Hear continued discussion at CB 3 Landmarks Committee meeting
Tuesday April 10 6:30p 

 

New York State Budget Keeps the Height Cap

For the second time in two years, the State legislature sought to lift a half-century old limit on the size of residential buildings.

STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN  issued a statement on the dangerous proposal to ELIMINATE HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS IN NEW YORK CITY:

“I am outraged that Senate Republicans proposed needlessly eliminating height restrictions by repealing the maximum Floor Area Ratio for residential buildings in New York City . . . This repeal would be one of the most dramatic changes in zoning law in the past 50 years, and it is unconscionable to try and push it through with no debate. I opposed this last year and will continue to fight tooth and nail to prevent this irresponsible proposal from becoming a reality.”

The NYS budget that passed last week will keep our height restrictions in place for now, but these ideas have a tendency to resurface when an opportunity appears. We will remain vigilant.

Rally TODAY! 5:30pm 3rd Avenue & St Mark’s Place

Join GVSHPLESPICooper Square CommitteeEVCCBowery Alliance of Neighbors and others to save our neighborhood from becoming a glassy Silicon Alley!

A $150 million deal has been signed for a “boutique office building” to rise at 3rd Avenue and St. Mark’s Place.Multiple office buildings, hotels and high-rise condos are planned for this area, pushing out longtime residents and businesses.

The East Village Community Coalition strongly supports the rezoning
of 3rd and 4th Avenues. We call for timely community planning that is accountable to the people who live here, before it is too late.

Save The 3rd And 4th Avenue Corridors 6:30PM WED 9/13

Critical CB 3 Meeting: Rezoning the 3rd & 4th Avenue Corridors  

Save Third & Fourth Avenues in the East Village!
Join GVSHP and neighbors at the
Community Board 3 Land Use Committee Meeting
Wednesday, September 13 6:30pm

Rutgers Community Center 200 Madison Street (btwn Rutgers & Pike Streets)
F Train to East BroadwayM 15 Bus (1/2 Ave) to Pike & Madison

Meeting begins at 6:30 pm; this is item #4

GVSHP will be presenting its proposal for rezoning the 3rd and 4thAvenue corridors to prevent oversized commercial development in this area, such as the 300 room, 13-story hotel under construction at 112-120 East 11th Street, at this upcoming Community Board 3 Land Use Committee meeting. GVSHP is proposing and seeking zoning protections for the area between 5th and 3rd Avenues, Union Square and Astor Place,which is unique within the Village and East Village for its lack of adequate zoning and landmark protections. Community Board 3 ONLYcovers the area east of 4th Avenue, so Wednesday’s meeting is solely focused on 3rd and 4th Avenues.
(Community Board 2 covers west of 4th Avenue, and is already STRONGLY on record in support of our proposed zoning protections for Broadway and University Place.)

If you oppose overdevelopment in this area, it is vital that you attend. This is not a public hearing, but residents of Community Board 3 may speak in support of zoning protections for Third and Fourth Avenues. Thank you, and see you there!

3rd4th_Aves_wMoxy

432 E. 14th St – Update: Developer Withdraws Revised Plan

432 E. 14th Victory

Developer Withdraws Revised Plan!

Today the developers of 432 E.14th Street, withdrew their revised application. After strong community opposition, the BSA rejected the initial application was for variance to build 50% (four floors) higher than our zoning allows. The revised application still requested an additional floor, but with your support
432e14th_Victory_NoVariance
Left: Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office. Center: Height allowed (8 stories). Right: Height requested 12 stories).

Compare the heights above. Compliance is 8 stories. Proposed is 12. Like the EVCC, our colleagues in preservation, ommunity Board 3, and many residents, we believe you will agree that this building is oversized and way out of scale. We worked hard to get  special zoning put in place — to prevent exactly this. We need your voice. Tell the BSA we stand behind our zoning.


Testify at the BSA Hearing on January 24th
BSA hearing room, 22 Reade Street, Spector Hall at 1pm

We believe the developers claims “hardship” because of “unique circumstances” are bogus. Do not let them get away with cramming an oversized building into a space where it doesn’t belong just because it is on 14th Street. The back of the building goes through to 13th Street and will be very visible, have widespread effects and sets a bad precedent. We must stand up to this encroachment and uphold our zoning.

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WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • EMAIL THE BOARD OF STANDARDS AND APPEALS via this form. URGE THEM TO REJECT THE VARIANCE!
  • TESTIFY AT THE BSA HEARING – January 24th at 1pm – BSA hearing room, 22 Reade Street, Spector Hall.
  • FORWARD BY EMAIL or PRINT OUT  this flyer and post it in your lobby or community center, distribute to friends, neighbors, local businesses.

City Planning Reduces Height Increases Planned for Contextual Zones, Reforms Community Process

The Department of City Planning announced that it will present to 51 community boards before further action is taken on the Zoning for Quality and Affordability plan introduced in February. The change is a response community opposition from neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs expressed during the comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. In the East Village, the R8B designations south of Tompkins Square Park will increase by 5 feet. The rest of the neighborhood under R7A zoning remains planned to absorb more generous height lifts including a 5-foot increase with the option to build up to 105 feet for affordable senior or Inclusionary Housing.

The contextual zone in the East Village was enacted in 2008 following a three-year community process. The height restrictions help protect existing buildings and the neighborhood scale.

Read the letter from City Planning Chairman Carl Weisbrod in full.

NY State Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Case Against NYU Expansion Plan

In the latest installment of the ongoing struggle against NYU’s huge expansion plan, the State’s highest court, the New York State Court of Appeals, has agreed to hear a case that was filed by petitioners in mid-November regarding public parkland. The lawsuit has passed through two lower courts, with differing results. Those following the dispute, especially park advocates, are awaiting a verdict that could have massive ramifications on the way that the City and the State deal with public parks in the future.

On October 14th, the Appellate Division’s First Department overturned a lower court’s decision that would have spared three parks—Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park and LaGuardia Corner Gardens—from destruction under NYU’s current expansion plan. According to the lower court’s ruling, all three strips are public parks, and therefore entitled to protection, since the public has been using them as parks for many years, making them “implied” parkland, with the City funding, labeling and maintaining them as parks.

NYU and the City counter-argued that those parks aren’t really parks, since they were never “mapped” as parks (a bureaucratic technicality), and are nominally overseen by the City’s Department of Transportation. The First Department’s decision would allow NYU to raze those treasured parks to make way for its vast expansion plan, and set a precedent that could potentially threaten countless public parks throughout the City and the State.

Petitioners, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council, Washington Square Village Tenants’ Association, East Village Community Coalition, Friends of Petrosino Square, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, Inc., Lower Manhattan Neighbors’ Organization, SoHo Alliance, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, NoHo Neighborhood Association, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and 10 other individuals, are represented on a pro bono basis by the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, with Randy Mastro as lead attorney.

Their motion papers make clear that “the First Department’s decision disregarded well-established common law principles for determining when municipal land has been impliedly dedicated for parks usage. In recognition of the unique value that public parks hold for children, families, and communities, the Public Trust Doctrine accords parkland special protection.”

The petitioners are asking the Court of Appeals to consider two issues: that the First Department’s decision actually conflicts with prior appellate court decisions, and prior decisions by the Court of Appeals itself, about this kind of “implied” parkland, and that the First Department’s decision, if left intact, will have the effect of abolishing implied dedication—a consequence with widespread negative effects, not just in New York City, but throughout the State.

Parks and open spaces are protected by the Public Trust Doctrine, which maintains that the government holds the titles to certain waters and lands in trust for the people. In New York State, if an entity wishes to develop or remove a parcel of parkland from public ownership and use, it must follow a legal process called “alienation,” which, among other conditions, requires approval from the state Legislature. This was not done in the case of the Village parks that NYU wants to destroy for its ill-advised expansion plan. The First Department’s decision flies in the face of this doctrine and of its own decisions, and would imperil all kinds of public and green spaces throughout the state; it would leave ordinary New Yorkers with no protection against the removal and abuse of open spaces and parks for development.

11/17: TOWN HALL to Save our Community Center

Town Hall

TOWN HALL
Save Our Community Center

November 17, 2014
6:30pm-8:30pm
Casa Victoria, 308 East 8th Street (between Avenues B & C)

Join Council Member Rosie Mendez and elected officials, neighbors, and community organizations in an important discussion about the status of former P.S. 64 at 605 East 9th Street. Organize to return the building to community use!

City Raises Objections to “Dorm” Plan for PS64

evcc images 007_sm

The Department of Buildings has issued a Stop Work Order and moved to revoke a partial permit for the dorm conversion planned for former PS64/ CHARAS – El Bohio. In response to Councilmember Rosie Mendez’s letter dated September 3rd, the DOB raised objections to the approved conversion plan, which had earned agency support based on misinformation. The plan violates the zoning code and the “dorm rule”, a hard-fought protection on the speculative development of student housing.

The collective efforts of community groups, community members and the community board with a unified group of elected officials led by CM Mendez kept the energy and pressure needed to reverse the City’s decision. We continue to demand the return of this landmark building to true community use.

The EVCC remains dedicated to ensuring that the historic PS64 building and the intent for future use at the time of its sale are honored. Join us, other community groups, residents, and CM Mendez with other elected officials at a rally/ press conference on Sunday, 1pm at 605 East 9th Street (Avenues B & C)!

Accidental Skyline: A Map of Underbuilt Manhattan

 

 

The Municipal Art Society released a new tool for identifying parcels with air space that can be developed under existing zoning. Much of the East Village is already near or at its height limit as a result of the 2008 contextual rezoning advanced by the EVCC and the East Village/ Lower East Side community. Some lots (in darker shades) remain vulnerable to potential future development. Neighbors take notice of underbuilt neighbors that may one day attract development interest.
View the interactive map.

Accidental Skyline
Buildable space in the East Village available on MAS’s Accidental Skyline

Formula Retail Community Workshop: November 19th

Formula Retail Header2EVCC invites you to voice your opinion about the current state of chain stores within the East Village. Join EVCC November 19th from 6pm-8pm at the Neighborhood Preservation Center, for a community workshop on Formula Retail. The workshop is open to all but space is limited. Please contact melanie@evccnyc.org or call 212-979-2344 if planning to attend.

Formula Retail Community Workshop
6-8pm
Tuesday, November 19
232 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003
RSVP to: melanie@evccync.org or 212-979-2344

We have several open volunteer positions at the workshop, all allow participation in the discussion. If you’d like to volunteer please mention it in your RSVP.

Learn more about Formula Retail Restrictions