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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

Application on behalf of S.L. Green Realty for Certification fro the City Planning Commission pursuant to ZR 37-625 and 37-73 to allow modifications of an existing bonus plaza and permission for an open air cafe at 1350 6th Ave.

WHEREAS, 1350 Sixth Avenue is a commercial building built in 1966 at the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th Street, and was constructed with a plaza of approximately 5,142 square feet along Sixth Avenue and 55th Streets which currently contains a popular “LOVE” sculpture; and

WHEREAS, The easternmost portion of the plaza facing 55th Street is occupied by an open air café operating as Bistro Milano, comprised of 24 tables with 48 seats, three umbrellas, various signage and approximately eight planters; and

WHEREAS, The Owner determined that no permit for an open air café existed at 1350 Sixth Avenue and informed Bistro Milano, which shut down its café for a portion of 2008 but reopened the café in the summer of 2009 while the application for a permit was pending, and the Department of Buildings has issued a violation for the illegal operation of an outdoor café; and

WHEREAS, in order to bring the current plaza into greater accordance with the requirements of the Zoning Resolution, the Owner seeks a Certification to permit the addition of 13 seats (26 linear feet), 61 square feet of seasonal plantings in both round and rectangular containers and one information plaque (32” x 24” in size) to be located in the plaza facing Sixth Avenue at the southernmost point where the plaza meets the adjoining Warwick Hotel; and

WHEREAS, The location of the seating was selected by the Owner and the Department of City Planning because the number of visitors to the “LOVE” sculpture requires leaving the corner  portion of the plaza open, and other retail entrances occupy the 55th Street frontage of the plaza; and

WHEREAS, Although concern was expressed that the cafe continues to operate without a permit, Bistro Milano has pursued a permit for more than a year and the attractiveness and popularity of the café and the restaurateur’s claim of economic hardship without the café led to support for the application; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for Certification of the design modification to the existing bonus plaza at 1350 Sixth Avenue pursuant to ZR §37-625 and permission to operate an open air café pursuant to ZR §37-73.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 27 in favor, 8 opposed, 2 abstaining, one present not entitled to vote.

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