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30 West 21st Street, application to install iron gate and AC unit

WHEREAS, 30 West 21st Street contains an empty lot located in the Ladies Mile Historic District, with street frontage of 16 feet; and

WHEREAS, The owner of the empty lot also owns the adjacent commercial loft building, which has the same address and is in the same tax lot as the empty lot; and

WHEREAS, The existing building has a fire stair at the rear which has egress to the empty lot; and

WHEREAS, The owner of the entire parcel appeared before  CB5 and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission ("LPC") and obtained approval September 11, 2007 for a development plan for a new building at the empty lot; and

WHEREAS, On September 11, 2007, the LPC found "that the existing fire stair and roll-down gate are not significant architectural features of the building, and therefore their demolition will not diminish the special architectural and historic character of the building and the Ladies Mile Historic District; that the construction of a new building on this largely vacant lot will create continuity in the street wall, and therefore contribute to the streetscape"; and

WHEREAS, After obtaining this approval, the roll-down gate was demolished in preparation for the new building's construction, however due to the current economic climate that development will not occur in the foreseeable future; and

WHEREAS, The owner would now like to secure the empty lot with an iron fence to prevent access to the empty lot for security purposes since the fire stair is exposed to intruders who could access the existing building if the lot is left open to the street; and

WHEREAS, The proposed iron gate has a relatively simple design since the LPC Staff, reportedly, could not discover any other comparable sites in the Historic District where gates have been installed, according to the applicant; and 

WHEREAS, The owner also desires to place a small air conditioning unit at the rear of the lot which would be concealed by a wooden fence and shrubbery; and

WHEREAS, This unit would eventually be totally out of view from a public passageway when a new building would be built on the empty lot; and

WHEREAS, The applicant intends to pave the empty lot with precast concrete, install planters and landscaping to improve the appearance of the empty lot; and

WHEREAS, The applicant intends to retain the existing parking lot curb cut should a future owner desire to have a townhouse with a garage; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application to install a 16 foot wide iron gate at the front of the empty lot at 30 West 21st Street and to place an air conditioning unit at the rear of the empty lot to be concealed by a wooden fence and landscaping, along with paving and placing planters and landscaping in the empty lot

The above resolution passed by a vote of 38 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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