Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Friends of Sunset Park's Open Re-Zoning Plea to the City Council

This morning I received this email from the Friends of Sunset Park; it was sent to every City Council Member. It is an impassioned plea to consider - once again - how the proposed re-zoning may well affect the westward-facing view from Sunset Park. It included several attachments, one of which was a prepared statement by a member of the Friends of Sunset Park. I can't reprint the entire statement here due to format issues, but the requested modifications are below. If you would like to read the moving testimony, please see the Friends of Sunset Park website, or use the BViB email address before tomorrow morning (Thursday); I will forward the City Council email to you.

If this issue concerns you, please contact Sara Gonzalez - or the entire City Council - to voice your opinion. Whether you are for the rezoning or against it, it is an important to know all sides of this issue for property owners, renters who love this neighborhood, residents and visitors who enjoy the park, and those who want to see responsible development.

from the prepared FoSP statement:

We ask that you modify the proposed plan to:

• Restrict building height on 5th Avenue (36th Street-50th Street) to a maximum height of 40 feet, including bulkheads;

• Restrict building height elsewhere on 5th Avenue (25th-36th Streets and 50th-65th Streets) along the area under consideration to a maximum of 50 feet, including

• Restrict building height all along 4th Avenue to a maximum of 60 feet, including bulkheads;

• Restrict building height from 39th to 41st Street, between 4th and 6th Avenues to a maximum of 40 feet, including bulkheads;

• Institute a permanent moratorium on demolition of structurally-sound buildings.

Preserving the view from Sunset Park and for all New Yorkers is in your hands, ladies and gentlemen of the City Council. Every child, and hard-working woman and man in Sunset Park is counting on each and every one of you to do the right thing.

Thank you.


tom murphy said...

The NYC Council passed the Sunset Park Re-Zoning today.
--Tom Murphy

Anonymous said...

What does it mean that the Council passed this? Is it in effect, or when does it go in effect? How does the lawsuit come into play?

Did the Council consider any amendments about the view corridor?

tom murphy said...

ear Anon:
The re-zoning now goes to the Mayor for his approval.
The change will only take effect when the Mayor signs it. Any application for a building permit submitted now would likely be approved only with the new zoning protections; however, there is a possibility of the odd permit being 'grandfathered in' because of a prior approval.
The lawsuit, according to the CPC, does not interfere with this process. CPC has already approved. The lawsuit has its own schedule of actions and will play out over the coming weeks. I intend to add to the court record if allowed. There are errors of fact in the plaintiffs' filing.
I wasn't at the Council meeting yesterday; however, I was informed the Speaker specifically addressed the issues involved. Two MCs voted NO, Mr. Avella, who always votes in the negative on any re-zoning, and Mr. Barron.
There were at various times along the process comments added to the record by elected officials to emphasize protection of tenants from harassment. I did not hear of any actual attempt to amend. On what basis would a CM from a distant district want to amend/change at the last minute legislation that had been thoroughly discussed over two years and voted up overwhelmingly in the affirmative in accordance with the ULURP procedure known to all?
All Council proceedings will appear on ACCESS TV (Warner Channel #74) at a future date (perhaps at a month's delay). Please watch the September 22nd Public Hearing conducted by the Sub-Committee on Franchises & Zoning(Mr. Avella, ch.) for interesting comments by some of those in opposition. This testimony was cited later by CM Felder when Mr. Barron questioned the ULURP process. I testified in support of the re-zoning alongside Randy Peers, chairman of CB#7, and Brad Lander, of the Pratt Center, who will surely represent parts of CB#7 in the City Council next year.
It's all in the public record, and you will be better informed by it.

--Tom Murphy