Old PS 64 đź’Ś Rally & Press Conference – Tuesday, 2/14, 2pm

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Join elected officials, community organizations and activists to ask Mayor de Blasio to be our Valentine and give us back our Community Center former CHARAS El Bohio, P.S. 64 at 605 East 9th Street!

Artists, dancers, actors, musicians, residents, community not-for-profit orgs. & service providers. Come as your favorite cultural or community resource, or come as you are!


What can you do?

  • Come to the Rally and Press Conference about saving Old P.S. 64/Charas-El Bohio on Tuesday, 2/14, 2pm — Steps of City Hall
    💌 RSVP, invite your friends, like and share the Facebook invite to the Rally
  • Come to MORUS for Sign Painting 
    Sunday, February 12th from 3:30pm to 7:30pm
    Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, 155 Avenue C
    💌 RSVP, invite your friends, like and share the Facebook invite to the Rally
  • Print out  the Valentine’s Rally flyer and distribute to friends, neighbors, local businesses.
    đź’Ś Ask your favorite businesses to post it in their window.
  • Write Mayor de Blasio! 
    💌 Urge him to reverse the Department of Buildings’ ruling and not allow a phony “dorm for hire” to go into old P.S. 64.


    Brief history:

    In 2005 community members, organizations and elected officials joined to get Old P.S. 64 landmarked and the City limits uses here to “community facilities.” As the developer tried repeatedly to get around the the usage restriction by making it a “dorm for hire,” so our community allies asked the City to tighten up the dorm rules.

    The developer owner is trying yet again to sneak around these tighter rules and has hired the same lobbyist involved in the scandalous lifting of the deed restriction for the nearby Rivington House! And what’s worse is now it’s the DoB breaking it’s own rules! That has terrible implications, not just for our beloved CHARAS El Bohio, but for endangered, culturally significant buildings across the City. 

    💌Mayor de Blasio, have a heart and put a stop to this!💌

    Read more on recent happenings at The Villager and at GVSHP or find a full history here.

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432 E. 14th St. TOWER – 1/24 OPPOSE Variance Application!

432 E. 14th… TOWER?

NO Taller than Zoning Allows!

Tuesday Jan. 24th at 1pm – Testify at the BSA Hearing!

The developers of 432 E.14th Street have applied to The Board of Standards and Appeals for variance to build higher than our zoning allows — 50% (four floors) higher!
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, Community 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.

Old P.S. 64/CHARAS Community Meeting – Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017

Join neighbors, community organizations and elected officials for an update on recent developments  at Old P.S. 64/CHARAS. A Community Meeting will be held at Loisaida, Inc, 710 East 9th Street on Wednesday,  January 18th at 6:30pm.  You cans also help by emailing the mayor and inviting others! See links below.

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2005: Old P.S. 64 Landmark Status Confirmed 2016: Old P.S. 64 Threatened Again

Stand with your neighbors and community partners, again, to ask the City to return Old P.S. 64 / Charas / El Bohio to the East Village as a community and cultural resource.

What is the urgency right now? The developer has obtained work permits for a portion of the building which goes against the DoB’s own regulations on partial leasing.  Since DoB has refused to rescind the permits we need to take it to the mayor. What can you do now.

  • Email or print this flyer and invite every community member to join us on Jan 18th to urge Mayor DeBlasio to have the DoB to rescind these improper permits immediately, before Old PS 64 is damaged beyond repair.
  • Write Mayor de Blasio and urge him to reverse the Department of Buildings’ ruling

A brief history:

In 2005 community members, organizations and elected officials joined to get Old P.S. 64 landmarked and the City limits uses here to “community facilities.”

Old P.S. 64 has sat vacant and fallow since the developer has tried repeatedly to tear the building down has removed its valuable architectural features, and get around the the usage restriction by making “dorm for hire.”

The EVCC, GVSHP and our community allies asked the City to tighten up the dorm rules to prevent developers from slipping in “dorms for hire” and other uses disguised as legitimate dormitories.

The developer owner is seeking to get around these tighter rules that we fought for. He has hired the same lobbyist involved in the scandalous lifting of the deed restriction for the nearby Rivington House.

Read more at The Villager and at GVSHP.  For a comprehensive history, see P.S. 64 – CHARAS, El Bohio: A History.

 

What can you do?

  • Come to the community meeting about saving Old P.S. 64/Charas-El Bohio on Wednesday, January 18, 2017- 6:30 p.m. at Loisaida, Inc., 710 East 9th Street (SW corner at Ave. C) – flyer here.
  • Print out this flyer and distribute to friends, neighbors, local businesses.
  • Write Mayor de Blasio! Urge him to reverse the Department of Buildings’ ruling and not allow a phony “dorm for hire” to go into old P.S. 64

The 2017 Get Local! Guide is here!

getlocal2017_cover      The 2017 Get Local! Guide has arrived.

      Email  or call/text Carol at (347) 903-9676 TODAY

      to schedule a delivery or pick up.

REPORT: Anticipating and Adapting to Community Changes in the East Village

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In 2015, an NYU Wagner School Capstone team made projections on the near future of the East Village. After spending a year analyzing trends, policy, and plans, the students prepared a report and presentation on the projected effects of change on residents and the neighborhood’s character.

Anticipating and Adapting to Community Changes in the East Village

NYU Wagner Capstone Team: Presentation for EVCC

The East Village is experiencing rapid changes in housing stock, resident demographics, retail offerings and developments. With IBM leasing at Cooper Square and many buildings changing hands, we see potential for significant transformations in the area. In order to have an informed and prepared community, it is important that all influencing factors and trends be identified to prepare community groups, elected officials and residents who may work to mitigate projected effects. Real estate trends, population shifts, existing and proposed policies, planned developments, the condition of cultural resources are all considered in helping to predict what we can expect in the coming years in the area east of Tompkins Square Park.

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.

The East Village Merchants Association Launches “East Village Loves”, A Campaign To Support Merchants Affected By The East Village Blast

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“East Village Loves” will highlight the East Village merchants affected by the tragic Second Avenue blast and emphasize that they are now fully open for business.

Independent entrepreneurs in the East Village in conjunction with the East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA) have announced the launch of “East Village Loves,” a campaign created to highlight local businesses in the East Village. Utilizing the #eastvillageloves hashtag, the campaign will call for New Yorkers to shop in the East Village and support the establishments most affected by the blast.

On March 26th, a devastating explosion and fire leveled three historic buildings at the corner of Second Avenue and East 7th Street tragically claiming two lives, destroying dozens of homes, and displacing several businesses both temporarily and permanently. Over thirty-eight establishments lost business due to barricades, blocked traffic, emergency operations, and a broader avoidance of the site by visitors.

In the wake of these events, neighborhood business leaders, local elected officials and the East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA) have rallied to celebrate that the East Village is here and open for business. Nearly all businesses affected by the blast have re-opened on Second Avenue and East Sixth Street, East Seventh Street, and St. Marks Place, and regular vehicular and foot traffic has resumed.

Now is the perfect time to visit the East Village, to support the places that have been difficult to access and to find new favorites among a widely diverse retail and food landscape.

Through “East Village Loves” merchants, residents, and visitors can share their favorite East Village spots and the types of industries that they love most. The campaign is a celebration of the rich, diverse, and historic neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, characterized by a concentration of mom-and-pop establishments that are becoming less common throughout the city.

The campaign will have a presence at major public events associated with Lower East Side History Month in May, including the 39th Annual Ukrainian Festival from May 15th through 17th.

The campaign’s chosen slogan commemorates the vintage shop Love Saves the Day, made famous by the 1980s film Desperately Seeking Susan. The inimitable shop closed its reign at the ill-fated corner of Second Avenue and East 7th Street in 2009.

#SaveNYC

Consider joining #SaveNYC, a grassroots, crowd-sourced, DIY movement to protect and preserve the diversity and uniqueness of the urban fabric in New York City.

As our vibrant streetscapes and neighborhoods are turned into bland, suburban-style shopping malls, filled with chain stores and glossy luxury retail, #SaveNYC is fighting for small businesses and cultural institutions to remain in place.

The mission is to bring attention to the plight of Mom and Pop, and to lobby state and city government to implement significant and powerful protections for small businesses and cultural institutions across the five boroughs of New York City.

The devastation has been overwhelming. Protecting what remains will require a multi-pronged approach. First steps:

• To raise awareness, the #SaveNYC website gathers video and photographic testimonials from people everywhere who love New York and want to see its diverse culture and heritage protected. The group tweets and posts on Instagram with the hashtag #SaveNYC, and run a Facebook group.

• The first political objective is to pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (0402-2014). This bill will make it possible for small businesses to negotiate fair lease renewals with landlords, thus stemming the tide of mass evictions and catastrophic rent hikes.

Learn more about #SaveNYC and how to get involved today

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.

City issues permits for restoration work at P.S. 64

Since receiving the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s blessing in 2013, Gregg Singer may finally be moving forward with restoration work at former P.S. 64/ CHARAS – El Bohio. The landmarked school building has been vacant following the eviction of the former tenants of El Bohio led by CHARAS in 2001. The City reversed its short-lived approval for plans to convert the building into a multi-school “dormitory” this past September.

The project’s future is uncertain, but the exterior work may begin soon. The owner got the okay from Landmarks more than a year ago to perform restorative work to replace damaged architectural details and to install new windows. Two permits from the Department of Buildings issued in January allow for repairs to the dormers, mansard roof, roofing, and the facade. LPC also supported alterations to carve along the edges of the raised courtyards to create windows at ground level for dorm rooms. It does not appear that the permits issued allow for this component of the work.

While the permits are dated 2015, the owner set the start date for the work in August, prior to the project’s approval and subsequent Stop Work Order. The DOB maintains its objections to the dormitory plan, which Singer will need to resolve before moving forward with any interior work. We support the City’s objections to the project as presented and maintain that a dormitory is an improper use for the site.

Old P.S 64 has endured several major weather events while unsealed including Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. The condition of the building is not entirely due to wear-and-tear; at the time of landmarks designation, many architectural details suffered damage by the workers. Facade and architectural restoration work is welcome if it will protect this historic neighborhood gem. We will watch to see if, after years of decay, some restorative work begins here.

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East Village Community Coalition
143 Avenue B - Simplex
New York, NY 10009
212-979-2344