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Parks & Public Spaces

The Epoch Times, application to hold a special cultural festival in Union Square Park south plaza

WHEREAS, The Epoch Times, a for profit publication, has submitted an application seeking permission from the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation, in order to conduct an event in the South Plaza of Union Square Park; and

WHEREAS, The applicant refused to move the event to the North Plaza; and

WHEREAS, The proposed event known as the Tour to the East, is to occur on Sunday October 28, 2007, with set-up time beginning at 8:00 AM, clean-up time to be completed at 8:00 PM, and will include live song and dance performances beginning at 12:30 PM ending at 5:00 PM; and

WHEREAS, The event is free of charge to spectators and participants, however, the applicant is benefiting from event sponsorship, which will be prominently displayed on banners; and

WHEREAS, The applicant, a for profit publication, will also be benefiting from significant fees ($2,500. per booth) paid by the proposed 60 vendors selling merchandise at this event; and

WHEREAS, The proposed 60 vendors makes this event too large for the proposed area; and

WHEREAS, The Epoch Times, a for profit publication, has applied over the past year for permits for street fairs and has received approval for one of these events already within CB#5; and

WHEREAS, In our October 1, 2007 Parks Committee meeting scheduled to review this application, Community Board Five was informed that this application was approved; and

WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five is in favor of cultural and educational events, we must acknowledge that these attract a large volume of participants, and that this does negatively impact the grounds of the South Plaza; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five has repeatedly expressed our concerns against the commercialization of our park spaces; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five takes its role in the review of applications for parks events seriously, we find it objectionable that this application was approved before we could vote on this; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five is opposed to the Tour to the East event being conducted in the South Plaza of Union Square Park on Sunday October 28, 2007.

The above resolution recommending denial by a vote of 27 in favor; 0 opposed; 2 abstentions.

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