Richard Bass, an urban planner with Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s Land Use Group, has been working with residents and Manhattan Community Board 4 in Chelsea to assist local officials, including recently-elected City Councilmember Corey Johnson, in an effort to re-locate an inappropriately-sited EMS facility below the High Line on West 23rd Street. The facility, which violates zoning regulations, also negatively impacts area residents and threatens High Line visitors. Among the numerous complaints are that the EMS site was flooded during Hurricane Sandy and could not serve the host community, along with ongoing issues with noise and air quality impacts; these and other issues continue to be problematic to a number of residential buildings in the surrounding area. Richard was recently quoted in the DNAinfo article “Neighbors Renew Attacks on One of City’s Busiest Ambulance Stations”, and he was also interviewed by CBS New York on this matter.
Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category
For those who live, work, or happened to be visiting in Midtown Manhattan today, you’re probably well aware of the crane situation at the construction site for the tower on West 57th Street (under control, as of the late afternoon). These types of situations—and this was the same site where an earlier crane memorably dangled 1,000 feet in the air for several days after Hurricane Sandy almost exactly one year ago—rightfully gain nationwide attention for the dramatic scale of the dangers posed, in a line of work that we so often take for granted.
The City Council has unanimously approved the ‘Stalled Buildings Bill’. Earlier this week, we covered the basics behind the bill. The hundreds of stalled sites throughout the City can now enter the program and ensure, for the time being, that they can retain their permits (potentially vesting them under the old building code, the current zoning, and preventing possible landmarking issues).
On Wednesday, the Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings unanimously approved the bill, sending it to the full Council. Before voting on it, however, they made some amendments to the bill. While it will not be easy or cheap to participate (and remain in good standing) in the stalled sites program, the benefits to developers, property owners, and their lenders is huge. The City Council’s move to create this program will go a long way towards addressing community concerns surrounding the safety of stalled construction sites while also providing a major benefit to developers during the down market.
The updated bill – 1015A – now has a detailed list of what needs to be included in the maintenance and safety plan. (more…)
In June, a bill was introduced in the City Council that aims to address the numerous stalled construction sites dotting the City’s landscape. The bill would give developers an opportunity to extend their building permits for up to 4 years, if they enter a site safety and maintenance program.