In This Issue
VICTORY! Facing Massive Opposition, East Village Zoning Variance Withdrawn
We’re pleased to report that the zoning variance application to allow an oversized development at 432 East 14th Street/435 East 13th Street in the East Village, which GVSHP strongly opposed, has been withdrawn! The request to exceed zoning limits for the site is now off the table, and the developer may only proceed as allowed by the site’s contextual zoning, which limits new development to 80 feet in height. Read coverage in The Real Deal, Curbed, EV Grieve, Town & Village, and DNAinfo.
This is a great victory for community efforts, preserving the scale and
character of the East Village, and ensuring fair and equal application
of the law. From the beginning, GVSHP argued that this developer had
not established the legally-required case for a “hardship” that would
entitle him to build more than 50% taller and 25% larger than the zoning
allowed, as he had requested. Earlier this month, in the face of vigorous
opposition by GVSHP and our allies, the developer chopped that zoning request down by two-thirds. But GVSHP continued to oppose the reduced zoning variance request,
arguing that it was still out-of-scale for this area and still had no
basis in fact. On Tuesday, the morning of the next BSA hearing on the
variance request, it was announced that the developer had withdrawn the
We want to thank our members, who sent hundreds of letters to the Board
of Standards and Appeals opposing this variance (which the Chair cited)
and showed up for multiple hearings and rallies; City Councilmember
Rosie Mendez, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Assemblymember Brian
Kavanagh; Local 32 BJ SEIU; the East Village Community Coalition; and
scores of neighbors who came out with us to fight this variance.
Save Former PS 64/CHARAS-El Bohio From Neglect, Fake "Dorm"
The former P.S. 64/CHARAS-El Bohio Cultural Center
The owner of the old P.S. 64/former CHARAS-El Bohio Cultural Center at 605 E. 9th Street (Ave. B/C) continues to allow this landmarked building to deteriorate, leaving its windows open to expose it to rain, snow, and wind, and leaving the exterior in a deplorable and decaying state. At the same time, he continues to push a “fake dorm” plan for the building that would violate city regulations and get around the restrictive declaration governing this formerly publicly-owned property, echoing the fate of the nearby Rivington House (the developer has hired the same lobbyist connected to the Rivington House scandal). See GVSHP’s letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission urging them to take action against the owner and to ensure that the building is protected and preserved.
All of this appears to be part of an ongoing effort by the developer to either see the building (which he strenuously opposed being landmarked) damaged or destroyed, or to make life so unbearable for neighbors that they will accept his proposed illegal uses, or both.
It’s critical that the Mayor hear from as many concerned New Yorkers as possible that we do not want this historic, landmarked building damaged or destroyed, and that we do not want it turned into an illegal “fake dorm” that would circumvent the restrictive declaration on the building, as was allowed to happen at Rivington House.
Get the Mayor to Protect Our Neighborhoods
Map showing planned and in-progress developments between 3rd and 5th Avenues
Mayor de Blasio is responsible for some pretty disappointing decisions coming out of the Landmarks Preservation Commission of late (on Jane, Perry, and Gansevoort Streets, for example) as well as the City’s refusal to adopt a rezoning of the University Place and Broadway corridors to protect them from a slew of planned oversized towers, or the Third and Fourth Avenue corridors from increasing hotel development.
Mayor de Blasio controls the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the City Planning Commission, which are in charge of preserving historic buildings and setting the rules for new development. If we don’t think they are doing their job, we must hold the Mayor responsible.
Hundreds of you have written already, but we need to keep the pressure on.
Urge the Landmarks Preservation Commission to do its job:
Protect University Place/Broadway and 3rd and 4th Avenues from overdevelopment:
The LPC has issued disappointing decisions approving new buildings at (clockwise from top left) 11 Jane, 145 Perry, and 60-74 Gansevoort