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Parks & Public Spaces

Applications from Madison Square Park Conservancy for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, to be held on Madison Ave between 23rd & 27th Streets, 26th St between 5th Ave and Park Ave, and inside Madison Square Park on June 10th and 11th, 2017.

WHEREAS, The Madison Square Parks Conservancy ("Applicant") has submitted permit applications to the Parks Department and the Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO) to hold the 15th annual Big Apple Barbeque Block Party ("Event") in and around Madison Square Park, resulting in the partial closure of Madison Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets; closure of Madison Avenue between 24th Streets and 27th Streets; a partial closure of 24th Street between Park and Madison Avenues; and the closure of 25th and 26th Streets between Park and Madison Avenues on Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June 12th, 2016; and

WHEREAS, The event will be held on Saturday, June 10th and Sunday, June 11th between the hours of 11am and 6pm, with set-up beginning on Thursday, June 8th and clean-up following the event to begin on Sunday, June 11th; and

WHEREAS, Applicant has complied with the Community Board Five Policy on Large Events in and around Madison Square Park, having submitted a written Statement of Compliance acknowledging their understanding and acceptance of said policy; and

WHEREAS, Applicant now owns the intellectual property for the event, and Applicant's proceeds from this event constitute a significant percentage of the annual operational budget dedicated to the management of Madison Square Park; and

WHEREAS, Applicant recognizes the event's significant impact on members of the public who live around Madison Square Park, as well as workers, park users, and businesses around the park, and has committed to arranging the placement of pitmasters to minimize the impact on nearby residents; and

WHEREAS, Applicant commits to no event activation on 25th Street in 2017, and to the service and consumption of alcohol to be permitted only in Madison Square Park in a North and South Beverage Area, the perimeters of which will be monitored and secured by a security team; and

WHEREAS, Applicant has provided a detailed plan and layout of the event including sanitation, security, and post-event clean-up, with several improvements from prior events; and

WHEREAS, Applicant has mentioned that, as they are now the owners of the event, they are continuing to consider licensing the Big Apple Barbeque to other locations as well as nationwide; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five continues to question the appropriateness of this large event and its detrimental impact on the Flatiron neighborhood, including the tremendous impact on Madison Square Park on two weekend days in seasonal months of high park usage; and we implore Applicant to begin making plans now to relocate the event for 2018; and

WHEREAS, Despite Community Board Five's longstanding concerns about the impact of this and other large events on Madison Square Park and the area around it, Applicant is in full compliance with Community Board Five's Policy on Large Events in Madison Square Park, and has cooperated in good faith to improve the operational details of the event; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the applications from Madison Square Park Conservancy for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, to be held on Madison Avenue between 23rd and 27th Streets, 26th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue, and inside Madison Square Park on Saturday, June 10th and Sunday, June 11th, 2017.

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