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Petitioning Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and 2 others

AMEND LOCAL ZONING LAWS to STOP MEGA-DEVELOPMENT!

We urge the City Council to amend (and urge Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to support amending) local zoning laws as they relate to as-of-right development in light of the significant environmental impact of tall buildings over 25 stories. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should take into consideration density and congestion, the effect of shadows on parks, and the vulnerability of an area to sea rise and storm surges.

Coming Soon: Tall Buildings and Long Shadows in Central Park!

This is our watch. Are we just going to sit by and let developers overwhelm our neighborhood with 100+ story buildings that cast mile-long shadows? Shadows from buildings slated for 57th Street will fall on the Heckscher ball field and playground, the carousel, the zoo, among other areas in the south end of the Park. The effect on traffic on 57th will be horrendous. What’s worse, this trend of mega-development continues in adjacent areas.

It does not have to happen. It is time to rethink our zoning and the manipulation of air rights that allow this unprecedented mega-development to be built, meanwhile placing a moratorium on further construction. Citizen outrage was able to down zone the area north of 96th Street. Citizen outrage also stopped the redevelopment of the 42nd Street Library. Citizen outrage saved two public schools from being sold to private developers. In San Francisco, a condominium project was recently rejected because it would cast a shadow on Victoria Manalo Drive Park.  Let these be our examples. Let these actions empower us. 

TO STOP THE ABUSE OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD, WE MUST:

1. Limit height

2. Require an EIS on buildings over 25 stories (no as-of-right)

3. Consider existing density and congestion on neighborhood streets

4. Require operable windows   

5. Adhere to the Public Trust and Open Space Doctrine

6. Prohibit tall residential buildings in low lying areas subject to sea rise and storm surges

7. Contain a Sunshine Clause that prohibits shadows in parks caused by new development

8. Designate landmark-worthy sites and ensure contextual zoning in Historic Districts. 

We must convince our elected officials to push for zoning reform. The first tactic is letter writing and petitioning. Then, we may try umbrellas (à la Jackie Kennedy Onassis). If you are not a letter writer, sign the petition to Helen Rosenthal (Westside) or Daniel Garodnick (Eastside) and Gale Brewer.

This is just the beginning. We seek and welcome any help (organizational and financial) to force discussion of plans to changes of sunlight, sky and parkland in this city.  While we get shadows, the world’s wealthiest manipulators have found in New York City Real Estate a safe haven to hide their ill-gotten gains (see the “Towers of Secrecy” series in the New York Times starting Sunday, February 8, 2015).

BUILDINGS PLANNED OR BEING CONSTRUCTED:

- 217 West 57th Street (1,550 feet, approx. 155 stories, Taller than 1 World Trade Center) IN CONSTRUCTION

- 220 Central Park South (950 feet, approx. 95 stories) IN CONSTRUCTION

- 157 West 57th Street (1,004 feet, approx. 100 stories) COMPLETED

- 107 West 57th Street (1,350 feet, approx. 135 stories) IN CONSTRUCTION

- 432 Park Avenue (1,398 feet, approx. 140 stories) COMPLETED

- 250 East 57th Street (712 feet, approximately 71 stories)

- 606 West 57th Street (440 feet, approx. 42 stories) Largest and Densest Building

- 625 West 57th Street (32 stories) IN CONSTRUCTION

SOFT SITES:

- 31 West 57th Street (Rizzoli Bldg, CBRE site)

- 30 Central Park South (Park Lane Hotel)

- 36-44 West 66th Street (potentially 70 stories)

- 1865 Broadway at 61st Street (potentially 40 stories)

- 200 Amsterdam Avenue at 69th Street (potentially 60 stories)

 

Olive Freud, Community for Environmentally Sound Development

Kate Wood, LANDMARK WEST!

Alan Gerson, Sierra Club NYC

Kathy Gaffney, Sheffield, 322 West 57th Street

Elizabeth Starkey, former chair, CB7 Environmental Committee

Ronnie Eldridge, former Councilmember

Albert Butzel, Urban Environmental Law Center

Geoffrey Croft, NYC Park Advocate

Michael Sorkin, Distinguished Professor, CCNY

Cleo Dana, Friends of Damrosch Park

This petition was delivered to:
  • Manhattan Borough President
    Gale Brewer
  • NYC Councilmember, District 6
    Helen Rosenthal
  • NYC Councilmember, District 4
    Daniel Garodnick


    LANDMARK WEST! started this petition with a single signature, and now has 266 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.




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