A. Rosie Writes To DOB And Testifies At LPC On CHARAS B. NYCHA Infill Updates C. Rosie Cosponsors Forum Concerning The Closure/Relocation Of Peter Stuyvesant Station Post Office D. Legislative Update | May 2013 E. Rosie Encourages Constituents To Document Concerns With New York Citi Bike Share Program
A. Rosie Writes To DOB And Testifies At LPC On CHARAS: In the past month, Rosie has been in repeated contact with the Department of Buildings (DOB) and Cooper Union with respect to plans by developer Gregg Singer to redevelop the former P.S. 64—affectionately known as CHARAS/El Bohio Cultural and Community Center—into a 529 unit dormitory. Rosie called the DOB Manhattan Borough Commissioner to register her objections to the proposal, which include concerns that the agreement between the developer and Cooper Union is: (1) overbroad; (2) speculative; (3) non-conforming to the requirements of 1 RCNY §51-01 (the Dorm Rule) and (4) potentially lacking certain legal elements of a binding contract. In addition, on Tuesday, Rosie offered testimony before the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on the proposed plans for the exterior of the building, which is an Individual Landmark. Rosie raised a number of substantial concerns in her remarks and urged the LPC to protect this singular building that embodies a unique composition of remarkable and unequaled architectural features paired with a longstanding community-driven mission that dates back to 1904. Rosie will continue to be actively involved in this situation and will work to ensure that all applicable DOB rules, deed restrictions and Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) regulations are followed. In addition, the East Village Community Coalition (EVCC) is currently circulating a petition rejecting the proposal for a dorm and demanding that the building—which is a shared community treasure—be returned to the people for a collective purpose. The petition is available on line at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ps64/
B. NYCHA Infill Updates: In April, Rosie—along with Council Members Margaret Chin and Melissa Mark-Viverito—wrote to NYCHA Chair John Rhea to officially transmit the 22 specific Infill-related requests made in Resolution 1719—passed on April 9th—and to ensure that they will be treated as official comments from the Council and the NYCHA residents that the three Council Members collectively represent. The dual goals of the resolution 1719 are to (1) fully engage residents so they can be fundamentally informed, supported and empowered to make a decision as to whether or not to support or oppose any proposed Infill Development at their homes and (2) ensure that any Infill plans that move forward have clear and compelling benefits for residents. Key "process provisions" of the resolution include: making Infill projects subject to ULURP, encouraging the provision of technical assistance to residents at affected developments, making sure NYCHA responds to recommendations made by residents and delaying the RFP release until core outreach, participation and affordability goals are met. Key "Infill stipulation" provisions of the resolution include: ensuring that any Infill plan creates a predominant amount of permanently affordable units (with a priority for residents in affected developments), has robust and meaningful long-term employment and job training opportunities, ensures uninterrupted services for residents at affected developments and provides additional benefits to the community in terms of open space, local investment and security/emergency preparedness considerations. Furthermore, the letter specifically requested that: NYCHA formally delay the release of Infill RFP's until such time that: (1) All feedback from residents has been formally considered, responded to and incorporated into the Infill plan and (2) Residents have had the opportunity to access TPF funds for the technical assistance necessary to respond to the initial presentations made by NYCHA from March-April and (3) Residents have had a minimum of one month to review all plans in detail with their technical advisory team. As of this writing: (1) NYCHA plans to delay the release of the Infill RFP from the original date of April 30th until the end of May; (2) NYCHA will have a third round of consultation meetings with residents in May to discuss capital needs in a participatory budgeting-style way; and (3) NYCHA will have a City-wide "Open Meeting For All Concerned Stakeholders" in May. Lastly, on May 8th Rosie introduced two new Resolutions in the Council that urge: • NYCHA to withdraw from the Memorandum of Understanding with the New York City Police Department through which it funds law enforcement services for NYCHA residents and to invest the resulting savings ($73 Million/annually) into the capital needs of its developments. • NYCHA to delay the release of any Requests for Proposals to lease land until residents have utilized Tenant Participation funds to consult with legal and technical advisory staff to understand and respond to lease plans and resident feedback has been incorporated into these plans.
C. Rosie Cosponsors Forum Concerning The Closure/Relocation Of Peter Stuyvesant Station Post Office: On April 22nd, Rosie's office, in partnership with Council Member Daniel Garodnick, representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, and Community Boards 6 and 3 held a public forum for residents concerned about the proposed closure/relocation of the Peter Stuyvesant Station Post Office. Hundreds of seniors and working families who rely on the essential range of important services provided at this location and oppose the closure/relocation had an opportunity to express their concerns directly to representatives from the Post Office. At the forum, Rosie asked the Post Office—represented by Joseph J. Mulvey—to be more open and transparent about the negotiations with the lease holder and reveal the identity of the property owner. Since the meeting, Rosie has been back in contact with the USPS on multiple occasions, working to ensure that the hundreds of written comments and signed petitions that our office collected will be recognized, responded to and incorporated into their proposal moving forward.
D. Legislative Update | May 2013: In the past month, Rosie became a co-sponsor of several important articles of legislation including the following proposals: • A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the creation of a database to track the expenditure of funds in connection with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. (Intro 1040 of 2013) • A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the reporting of environmental data regarding schools. (Intro 1036 of 2013) • A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the creation of a registry of transportation providers for adult day care programs. (Intro 1031 of 2013) • A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the requirement of food vendors to obtain a certificate of authority to collect sales tax. (Intro 1029 of 2013) • A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the establishment of an M/WBE advisory board. (Intro 1028 of 2013) • A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to creating designated mobile food truck locations. (Intro 1025 of 2013) • A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to requiring the commissioner of the department of correction to post a monthly report on its website regarding punitive segregation, including solitary confinement, statistics for city jails. (Intro 1024 of 2013) • A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the display of commuter van information. (Intro 1023 of 2013)
E. Rosie Encourages Constituents To Document Concerns With New York Citi Bike Share Program: A number of constituents have recently contacted our office to raise concerns regarding the location of the new Citi Bike Stations throughout Council District 2. Rosie wants to advise all continents that we will follow up on these concerns; however it is exceptionally important that specific issues (such as public safety, obstructions to handicapped accessible entrances/exits and quality of life issues) be documented. To do so, please (1) Call 311—and forward the information to our office; (2) File a complaint with your Community Board; and (3) Attend the monthly NYPD Community Council Precinct meeting in the area where you live. We will compile complaints and concerns and meet with the Department of Transportation to discuss options for alleviating, mitigating and/or changing the location of these bike stations.