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January 2013

 

 

Consents & Variances

54 West 39th Street, Narita Bodywork, Inc., application filed pursuant to Zoning Resolution Section 73-36 for a special permit to allow the operation of a physical culture establishment on the 4th floor.

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, January 17, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 35 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

WHEREAS, Narita Bodyworks is applying for a special permit for a physical culture establishment offering body work, facials and therapeutic massage; and

WHEREAS, The premises is located on the fourth floor of a commercial building; and

WHEREAS, The spa's hours of operation would be 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and

WHEREAS, Neighbors, including the local Fashion Center BID, have expressed concerns about the methods of operation of several other spas in the area; and

WHEREAS, CB5 members similarly expressed concern about the reputation of many of the neighboring spas in the area; and

WHEREAS, The Fashion BID, neighbors, and Community Board Five members all share concerns about putting another such establishment in an area with a reputation for disreputable spas; and

WHEREAS, Members of CB5 expressed concerns for the use of co- ed facilities during late night hours at this location; and

WHEREAS, The principal of Narita Spa was asked but declined to amend her hours in any way from a 24 hour operation, and

WHEREAS, Members of the CB5 expressed concern about the spa owner's business and marketing plans; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five is gravely concerned with the methods of operation of many spas in this area and the overall impact of potentially adding another such spa to the neighborhood; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application of Narita Bodyworks for a special permit to allow the operation of a physical culture establishment on the 4th floor of 54 West 39th Street.

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Education, Health and Human Services

Resolution on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's Emergency Repair Program

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, January 17, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 37 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, It is a private owner's responsibility to timely and properly correct HPD violations and HPD attempts to contact the validly registered owner by mail and phone when an immediately hazardous (Class C) violation is issued; and

WHEREAS, If the owner fails to correct the class C violations, the City may perform, or contract for, emergency repairs to correct the violation at the owner's expense; and

WHEREAS, The City is subject to laws governing procurement, contracting, wages, and other matters that may make such work significantly more expensive than the price that the owner could obtain if he/she performs or contracts for the work; and

WHEREAS, The City will bill the property owner through the Department of Finance for the cost of the emergency repair plus related fees and/or for the cost of sending a contractor to attempt to make repairs; and

WHEREAS, If the owner fails to pay, the City will file a tax lien against the property that  will bear interest and may be sold and/or foreclosed to collect the amount owed; and

WHEREAS, Failure to correct violations may also result in civil penalties imposed by the housing court; and

WHEREAS, the Citizens Housing and Planning Council has found compelling evidence that hazardous conditions in one building have a significant and adverse impact on adjacent buildings and the surrounding community; and

WHEREAS, The current interest rate charges on ERP liens seven percent (7%) and the forty percent (40%) administrate cost for repairs up to $25,000 have proven woefully inadequate as a method to incentivize rental property owners to ensure adequate physical maintenance; and

WHEREAS, The City only recoups about half of the ERP lien value when packaged and auctioned; and

WHEREAS, When a rental property owner disregards the law through failure to prevent hazardous conditions not only are tenants in the aforementioned building harmed, but all city residents are harmed as we devote scarce municipal resources to undertake inspections and make repairs for which the City has only been able to recoup about half the cost; and

WHEREAS, Reducing the overhead costs of inspection and repairs frees up city dollars to invest in our city's human capital affordable housing stock and other vital programs; and

WHEREAS, HPD believes that increasing the ERP lien interest rate to eighteen percent (18%) would more successfully incentivize building upkeep; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Manhattan Community Board Five strongly urges the New York City Council to deter bad behavior of rental property owners in an effort to protect tenants and reduce burden on the city budget through the following means: 

A.     Increase the Emergency Repair Program lien interest rate from seven percent (7%) to eighteen percent (18%); and

B.     Reassess the forty percent (40%) of repair cost cap on fees HPD can charge; and

C.     Remove the $25,000 cap of what can be charged by the city for the emergency repair.  

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New York Public Library proposed renovation of the Central Library Building

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, January 17, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 33 in favor; 1 opposed; 1 abstaining; 1 present not entitled to vote:

WHEREAS, Community Board Five prioritizes library services as among the most vital needs in our district; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five is fully cognizant of the varied uses of our libraries and values the ability of the NYPL to cater to distinct needs in this time of fiscal austerity; and

WHEREAS, The NYPL proposes a Central Library Plan that would consolidate two branches – The Mid-Manhattan Branch, and the Science Industry and Business Library (SIBL), both located in CB5, into the Main Library and

WHEREAS, The Central Library Plan (CLP) will relocate most of the books currently stored under the Rose Main Reading Room to state-of-the-art, temperature and humidity controlled facilities below Bryant Park and in Princeton, NJ. Books will be barcoded, and those stored in NJ will be brought to the Rose Main Reading Room within 24 hours upon request; and

WHEREAS, With this newly-available space, the CLP would more than double the publically-accessible square footage in the NYPL's Main building on 42nd St and 5th Avenue, creating a 100,00 sq ft circulating library by transferring the resources of the 40th St. Mid-Manhattan Branch and the 34th St. Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL); and

WHEREAS, The CLP's consolidation of the two circulating branches will enable the NYPL to secure approximately $200 million through the sale of the Mid-Manhattan and SIBL properties; and

WHEREAS, The CLP consolidation will generate up to $15 million annually for NYPL to spend on librarians, curators, books and more across the system at a time of declining assistance; and

WHEREAS, The CLP will create a central library, designed by Architect Norman Foster,  open seven days a week (until 11 pm most nights) with both circulating and research functions under one roof; and

WHEREAS, The CLP will double the space open to the public at the Main Library located on 42nd St., opening 66 percent of our landmark building to the public; and

WHEREAS, The CLP will create a new central branch with access to 3.5 million books on site, periodicals, computers, programming spaces, job search resources and classrooms to replace a physically-distressed Mid-Manhattan branch and a underutilized SIBL; and

WHEREAS, The CLP will cause no closure of either circulating or research libraries; and

WHEREAS, The CLP will better protect the core of the NYPL's research collections for future generations of scholars, moving the materials from the obsolete shelving under the Rose Main Reading Room, that does not meet fire codes, and where books are at risk of decay from heat, light and humidity into a state-of-the-art facilities under Bryant Park and in Princeton, NJ; and

WHEREAS, The CLP will create an expanded children's room as well as a new teen center; and

WHEREAS, The CLP will allow the public to see the 101-year-old stack shelves for the first time in history, reusing some of them in the new circulating library; and

WHEREAS, The CLP opens more dedicated spaces for scholars and writers on the second floor, allowing for the harmonious cohabitation of diverse populations (students, school age children, tourists, scholars, general population) with diverse needs; and

WHEREAS, Historically, the Main Library was built, under the impulsion of Andrew Carnegie, as a circulating library, as well as a research library; and

WHEREAS, The CLP will preserve all of the building's historic public spaces as they are now, including the Rose Main Reading Room and the Astor Hall; and

WHEREAS, The CLP has been reviewed carefully by the Landmarks Committee of Community Board Five, which voted in favor of its landmarks and architectural component; and

WHEREAS, CB5 wants to be appraised of the progress made by the applicant on design and the NYPL has agreed to present the next iteration of the plans, therefore be it

RESOLVED, Manhattan Community Board Five strongly supports the implementation of the New York Public Library's Central Library Plan.  

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Landmarks

476 Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street (New York Public Library) - Proposed renovation of the Central Library Building

Parks

Union Square Partnership’s applications for their annual roster of programming for 2013, comprised of Jazz in the Square, Summer in the Square, Harvest in the Square, and Picture Your Holidays in the Square.

 

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, January 17, 2013, the following resolution passed with a unanimous vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Union Square Partnership has submitted applications for their annual roster of programming for 2013, comprised of Jazz in the Square (free lunchtime music performances on Thursdays from 6/11 through 8/15 in the western sitting area), Summer in the Square (children's fitness and performance workshops on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 6/13 through 8/25 in the South and North Plazas), Harvest in the Square (annual food and wine tasting fundraiser event involving several local restaurants, on 9/12 in the West and North Plazas), and Picture Your Holidays in the Square (family-oriented photo booth event on 10/27 and 11/17 in the North Plaza); and

WHEREAS,  All events are free and open to the public, with the exception of the annual fundraiser Harvest in the Square for which tickets would be sold for $125.00 for General Admission, and $400.00 for VIP entry; and

WHEREAS, Set up for each proposed special event would begin no earlier than 6:00 PM the evening before the event (upon expiration of the Greenmarket permit, when relevant), and dismantling and clean-up to be completed before 6:00 AM on the morning following the event; and

WHEREAS, There is a long-standing precedent for these events in Union Square Park; and

WHEREAS, Union Square Partnership has agreed that when presenting future event applications that they will clearly state whether or not those events are occurring concurrently with previously approved special events; and

WHEREAS, If there are any material changes in the event from previous years, i.e. signage, set-up, scale, location, and/or ancillary activities, Union Square Partnership has agreed to return and present these changes to Community Board Five; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of Union Square Partnership's applications for their annual roster of programming for 2013, comprised of Jazz in the Square, Summer in the Square, Harvest in the Square, and Picture Your Holidays in the Square.

 

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Madison Square Park Conservancy’s applications for their annual roster of programming for 2013

 

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, January 17, 2013, the following resolution passed with a unanimous vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Madison Square Park Conservancy has submitted applications for their annual roster of programming for 2013, comprised of Kids Fest Spring park-wide on Saturday, May 18; the Madison Square Kids music program in the Oval Lawn on Tuesday & Thursday mornings from June 11 through August 8; the Celebrate Flatiron Chefs fundraiser event on the south gravel area on Tuesday, July 16; the Oval Lawn concert series on Wednesday evenings from June 19 through August 7; the Music Studio programs on the south gravel area on Saturday afternoons from September 14 through October 5; and the Holiday Tree Lighting on the North End on Wednesday, December 3; and

WHEREAS, With the exception of Celebrate Flatiron Chefs, a fundraising event featuring local chefs which is anticipated to raise over $100,000 for the Conservancy, all events are free of charge and open to the public; and

WHEREAS, There is long-standing precedent for these events in Madison Square Park and Community Board Five has found a significant amount of support for these events from residents and stakeholders in the community; and

WHEREAS, Madison Square Park Conservancy has agreed that when presenting future event applications, that they will clearly state whether or not these events are occurring concurrently with previously approved special events; and

WHEREAS, If there are any material changes in the event from previous years i.e., signage, set-up, scale, location, and/or ancillary activities, Madison Square Park Conservancy has agreed to return and present these changes to Community Board Five; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of Madison Square Park Conservancy's applications for their annual roster of programming for 2013, comprised of Kids Fest Spring, Kids Fest Fall, the Madison Square Kids Music Program, the Celebrate Flatiron Chefs fundraiser, the Oval Lawn Concert Series, the Music Studio Events, and the Holiday Tree Lighting Event.

 

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Madison Square Park Conservancy’s applications to conduct special events for the public viewing of the broadcasts of the Delta-sponsored Mets/Yankees games and the American Express-sponsored US Open matches in Madison Square Park.

 

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, January 17, 2013, the following resolution passed with a unanimous vote of 27 in favor; 7 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Madison Square Park Conservancy has submitted an application to conduct special events for public viewing of the broadcasts of the Delta-sponsored Mets/Yankees games (the "Delta Dugout" series) from Monday, May 27 through Thursday, May 30, 2013, and the American Express-sponsored US Open matches from Saturday, August 31 through Sunday, September 8, 2013; and

WHEREAS, As in previous years, the broadcasts would be displayed on a Jumbotron screen erected near the Farragut Monument, with a set of bleachers near the screen and a viewing area set-up in the drained reflecting pool, with food vendors on the north end of Madison Square Park, with nothing other than sports broadcasts (including commercials) being displayed; and

WHEREAS, For the Delta Dugout, the south end of the park would be utilized for a Delta Dugout lounge and for children's activities such as pitch throwing and baseball clinics, which will all be shut down when the games start, all free and open to the public; and

WHEREAS, For the US Open, activities would be limited to the northern section of the park, and there is no intention to utilize the south end of the park; and

WHEREAS, In previous years, corporate sponsors contributed over $120,000 to the Madison Square Park Conservancy, and it is expected that they would either match or increase their contribution for 2013; and

WHEREAS, If beer and wine are sold for consumption, this would be in selected areas and all wine and beer licenses would be displayed, service would stop at 9:30 PM and the vendors would be responsible to monitor where the purchaser goes within the park and security personnel would be posted by the concessions; and

WHEREAS, Although there will be corporate signage, the number of signs has been reduced in comparison to previous years and the proposed event's commercial nature has been reduced significantly; and

WHEREAS, There is precedent for these events in Madison Square Park; and Community Board Five has found a significant amount of support for them from residents and stakeholders in the community; and

WHEREAS, the Conservancy has agreed to abide by the requirements adopted by Community Board Five for large events being conducted in Madison Square Park, including a rigorous attempt to enforce navigation of the pathways through the Park during the event, as well as advance notification given to surrounding residential buildings of event dates; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of Madison Square Park Conservancy's applications to conduct special events for the public viewing of the broadcasts of the Delta-sponsored Mets/Yankees games (the "Delta Dugout" series) from Monday, May 27 through Thursday, May 30, 2013, and the American Express-sponsored US Open matches from Saturday, August 31 through Sunday, September 8, 2013, in Madison Square Park.

 

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Madison Square Park Conservancy’s application to conduct the Madison Square Eats: Spring Food Festival in Worth Square from May 3 through May 31, 2013, between the hours of 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM.

 

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, January 17, 2013, the following resolution passed with a unanimous vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Madison Square Park Conservancy has submitted an application to conduct Madison Square Eats: Spring, their annual Spring Food Festival in Worth Square, which is the park land bounded by Broadway, Fifth Avenue, West 24th Street and West 25th Street; and

WHEREAS, The Food Festival would be conducted daily between the hours of 11:00 AM and 9:00 PM from May 3 through May 31, 2013; and

WHEREAS, Like the festivals in previous years, the proposed event's marketplace would only offer food, and not crafts and other merchandise, and would be produced by Urban Space Management, producers of other retail events such as the Union Square Holiday Market; and

WHEREAS, Worth Square would remain open to the public, with all tables and seating to be available to anyone in the park, regardless of whether or not they are patronizing the festival's vendors; and

WHEREAS, Vendors would be housed in tents on the perimeter of Worth Square, facing inside of the square, and the signage would be limited to the name of the restaurant or vendor, and information regarding the event; and

WHEREAS, Madison Square Park Conservancy is investigating the feasibility of implementing a more permanent power source in Worth Square as a capital investment in order to eliminate the need for generators; and

WHEREAS, Market festivals raise funds for the Madison Square Park Conservancy; and

WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five has specific concerns regarding the festival, including the lack of pedestrian clearance on the perimeter edges of Worth Square and the impossibility of walking from 25th to 24th Streets on the western side of 5th Avenue without walking in the streets, as well as the aesthetics of the vendor booths, we are confident that we can maintain a constructive dialogue with the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Urban Space Management, and the surrounding neighborhood to address these concerns; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five will wait to hear Madison Square Park Conservancy's application for Madison Square Eats: Fall until after the completion of the Spring festival, to evaluate its success; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of Madison Square Park Conservancy's application to conduct the Madison Square Eats: Spring Food Festival in Worth Square from May 3 through May 31, 2013, between the hours of 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM.

 

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Public Safety & Quality of Life

271 Fifth Avenue, (between 29th Street and 30th Street), TRUSA NYC FOOD LLC d/b/a “MY DANOZ FINE FOODS”, APPLICATION FOR A NEW WINE AND BEER LICENSE