June 2023 Minutes
The Borough of Manhattan
Manhattan Community Board Five
mark levine, Borough President
Vikki Barbero, Chair
marisa maack, District Manager
Minutes of the regular Community Board Five meeting held on Thursday, June 8, 2023 via teleconferencing.
John Harris Jr.
Michael J Southworth
Sarah BJ Sung
Keisha Sutton James
Deputy Borough President
Elected Officials Reps
Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs
Assembly Memb. Simone
Manhattan DA Bragg
Assembly Memb. Epstein
Assembly Member Bores
At 6:03pm on June 08, 2023 Public Hearing of Community Board Five was called to order by 1st Vice Chair Nick Athanail
Ted Lambert – gave a description of a project before the board for 123 West 43rd Street, Town Hall, to replace the small poster boxes with digital signage. He mentioned other landmarked theaters with digital signage and how the digital signage will restore the historic exterior of the building.
Lisa Wager - Director of Government Community Relations at FIT – informed board of a two-minute film of recent 16th annual ever popular drag pageant and a new Latin American and Latinx fashion exhibition at the museum at FIT.
Nina – Resident at 250 West 50th Street – spoke in opposition to the MGM travel bus stop on 810 8th Avenue.
Cassandra Grado – Executive Director at Xavier Mission – spoke on their application before the board for a block party to celebrate their 40th Anniversary.
Seeing no other speakers from the public, the Public Hearing was closed.
The Full Board General Monthly Meeting of Community Board Five was then called to order by the Chair Vikki Barbero.
REPORTS OF ELECTED OFFICIALS/REPS
Eric Strazza - Manhattan District Attorney Bragg’s Office – spoke on two events addressing gun violence: a gun buy-back and the “Annual Art of Healing” festival.
James Juliano – Assembly Member Bores’ Office – worked to pass a bill to increase the number of Family and Supreme Court judges. Also announced bills in the Assembly and Senate to address the lack of optometrists in New York State, a Labor Intellectual Property bill and an anti-Telemarketing bill.
Laurie Harjowaroga – Councilmember Bottcher’s Office – gave a report on securing funding to rehabilitate the historic 'Former Colored School No. 4' in Chelsea, on the same day it received landmark designation from the LPC. She also announced the winning Participatory Budgeting projects, and legislation introduced to separate food waste from regular trash and bringing mandatory composting to all five boroughs by next year.
Bianny Rodriguez – Councilmember Rivera’s Office – gave updates on upcoming events including an event with OATH, a rent freeze clinic, a helmet giveaway, and a meeting with DSNY on the trash situation in Union Square Park.
Franklin Richards – Councilmember Powers Office – announced the passing of the Zero Waste Package consisting of the CORE Act that CM Powers has championed for several years. Their office is working on issues of a construction storage location on West 54th Street heard from constituents and spoke on the Rent Guidelines Board preliminary vote to increase rents.
Alex Marinides – Senator Krueger’s Office – gave a summary on the attached reports: Link to text of Senator Krueger's joint testimony on MSG/Penn.
Link to register for Senator Krueger's June 15th seminar on OMNY and hearing/vision aides improvements.
Link to information page for our Climate Change Superfund Act.
Link to CDC wildfire safety recommendations.
Ben Lowenstein – Assembly Member Simone’s Office – reported on protecting Climate Change Regulations. He then spoke on legislation to be introduced that should cut down on dangerous riding by delivery workers on e-bikes, which is the core of most dangerous e-bike riding; Bill A7277 to remove the heliport from Hudson River Park; and Bill A6985 to prohibit municipalities from allowing public lands for helicopters for sightseeing tours, photography, etc. He also spoke on issue of illegal cannabis shops.
Kathleen Herman – Assembly Member Epstein’s Office – reported on the passing of legislation to track foster youth data, as well as a bill to improve disability representation in MTA leadership. The office is taking donations for adult Asylum Seekers, as well as tracking Illegal Cannabis shops in District 74. She then announced upcoming events in the Assembly office where you can speak to the Assembly Member directly.
Robin Forst – Mayor Adam’s Office – announced the landmarking of the last known remaining colored school on 17th Street – the historic 'Former Colored School No. 4' in Chelsea. She spoke of the State award to the city to buy food for schools from local farmers.
Curtis Young – Public Advocate Williams Office – announced the New York City Council voted to pass the Public Advocate’s “Worst Landlord Law” to help prevent fraudulent repairs by bad landlords and increased accountability.
The Nominating Committee Chair, Renee Kinsella, announced on behalf of the Nominating Committee, the slate of Officers for the term from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024: Chair, Vikki Barbero; 1st Vice Chair, Nick Athanail; 2nd Vice Chair, Craig Slutzkin; Secretary, Mary Brosnahan; Asst. Secretary, Samir Lavingia; Treasurer, Aaron Ford. The slate passed with a vote of 33 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining, as follows: IN FAVOR: Achelis, Athanail, Beitchman, Brosnahan, Ellington, Ford, Frewer, Frisz, Garcia, Goshow, Haas, Harris Jr., Hershberg, Hutton, Isaacs, Kalafarski, Kinsella, Law-Gisiko, Levy, Maffia, Marks, McCall, Nazarro, Ny, Shapiro, Slutzkin, Southworth, Sung, Takahashi-Rial, Webb, Xu, Yong, Zulkowitz. ABSTAIN: Barbero.
The May 2023 minutes passed with a vote of 33 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining, as follows: IN FAVOR: Achelis, Athanail, Beitchman, Brosnahan, Ellington, Ford, Frewer, Frisz, Garcia, Goshow, Haas, Harris Jr., Hershberg, Hutton, Isaacs, Kalafarski, Kinsella, Law-Gisiko, Levy, Maffia, Marks, McCall, Nazarro, Ny, Shapiro, Slutzkin, Southworth, Sung, Takahashi-Rial, Webb, Xu, Yong, Zulkowitz. ABSTAIN: Barbero.
Chair Vikki Barbero invited new board members, Mohit Bhalodkar, Kevin Frisz, Zarar Haider, Isabel Marks, Charles Ny, Elisabeth Hutton, Christopher Nazarro, Paul (Zool) Zulkowitz, James Southworth, Sachi Takahashi-Rial, to give a brief introduction regarding their background and reasons for wanting to serve on the Board.
Barbero reviewed that New Member Orientation was held earlier that week. It was recorded and those members who were not able to attend should view the recording and even those that did attend should review as well due to the amount of important information covered. She thanked all the new members.
Chair Barbero reported on the departure of a three-year veteran board member, Joseph Frewer, who recently took over the position of Vice Chair for the State Licenses and Permits Committee and will be leaving the board at the end of the month. She stated that Joseph has been doing a great job and has graciously offered to stay on board during the transition of a new Vice Chair this month. She thanked Joseph for all he’s done in the time he’s been on the board and wished him well.
Mr. Slutzkin gave a brief presentation on the following resolution:
Application from Factory360 on behalf of its client Chick-fil-a for a marketing event in Bryant Park from June 27 to 28, 2023
WHEREAS, Factory360 (“Applicant”) has submitted a permit application to the Parks Department on behalf of its client, Chick-fil-a (the “Client”), to have a marketing activation on the southwest area of Bryant Park (the “Park”) adjacent to 40th Street adjacent to the games area and south of the carousel from Tuesday, June 27, 2023 through Wednesday, June 28, 2023 (the “Event”); and
WHEREAS, The Event will take place between the hours of 12pm and 5pm, with set-up beginning at 4am on Tuesday, June 27 and breakdown completed by 9pm on Wednesday, June 28; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant will be setting up a 12-foot wide, approximately 15-foot high booth to introduce the Client’s digital game and educate New Yorkers and the general public about how the game is played; and
WHEREAS, The structure will be assembled off park grounds and placed in such a way as not to harm or affect the Park in any permanent way and will be able to withstand any high winds or seasonal weather events; and
WHEREAS, The Event will be staffed by 15-20 brand ambassadors, three production team members, two security guards, and two sanitation teams each day; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant will be distributing free chicken sandwiches to the Event participants but no other items will be distributed; and
WHEREAS, The Event will have no amplified sound, and the interior sound is not expected to bleed to the exterior; and
WHEREAS, The Event has an expected attendance of 3,000 people per day as the Event is tailored to attract passersby; and
WHEREAS, Applicant has agreed to abide by applicable New York State law that Applicant is required to obtain Park users’ express written permission for any use if they are recognizably recorded, and cannot simply post a notice instructing park users to avoid public space altogether to avoid the use of their likenesses; and
WHEREAS, All operational aspects of the Event, including sanitation and potential queueing, have been planned for in a satisfactory manner; and
WHEREAS, Community Board Five believes that the majority of Event elements are not objectionable in exchange for the contribution being made to the Park; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application from Factory360 on behalf of its client Chick-fil-a for a marketing event in Bryant Park from June 27 to 28, 2023.
The above resolution passed with a vote of 31 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstained: IN FAVOR: Achelis, Athanail, Beitchman, Brosnahan, Ellington, Frisz, Garcia, Goshow, Haas, Harris Jr., Hershberg, Hutton, Isaacs, Kalafarski, Kinsella, Law-Gisiko, Levy, Maffia, Marks, McCall, Nazarro, Ny, Shapiro, Slutzkin, Southworth, Sung, Takahashi-Rial, Webb, Xu, Yong, Zulkowitz. ABSTAIN: Barbero.
Ms. Kinsella gave a brief presentation on the following resolution.
Resolution to Create Public Bathroom Access through the Open Restaurant Program
WHEREAS, The City of New York (NYC) is creating a permanent Open Restaurants program due to the success of the emergency Open Restaurants Program during COVID-19, which provided businesses with an opportunity to generate revenue while allowing customers and employees to practice social distancing in order to protect public health and safety; and
WHEREAS, Currently there are 13,024 open restaurants that occupy public street space (sidewalks and road beds) in NYC; and
WHEREAS, As of 2019, there were 23,650 restaurant establishments, with more than half of our restaurants are participating in this program; and
WHEREAS, There are approximately 6,300 open restaurants in Manhattan, 3,100 in Brooklyn, 2,500 in Queens, 687 in Bronx, and 190 in Staten Island; and
WHEREAS, Half of the restaurants are utilizing both the sidewalk and roadway in front of their business; and
WHEREAS, Pre-pandemic Sidewalk Café outdoor dining program, had only about 1,000 total permit holders and applications in progress when Open Restaurants started; and
WHEREAS, Outdoor dining has reached the 17 Community Districts that had none under the pre-pandemic Sidewalk Café program; and
WHEREAS, This permanent program will allow restaurants to use the public realm as a revenue source for a fee based on the median annual rent for a square foot of a ground floor commercial premise; and
WHEREAS, The range of fees is divided into four sectors; and
WHEREAS, 80% of the city is part of Sector 1, which has an annual rent of $5/sf for roadway cafe and $6/sf for sidewalk cafes; and
WHEREAS, Sectors 3 and 4 shall only include the area south of and including 125th Street in the borough of Manhattan with Sector 4 rates at $25/sf for roadway cafes and to $31/sf for sidewalk cafes; and
WHEREAS, This permanent program will restrict the use of our public realm for public bathrooms, street furniture and other competing interests; and
WHEREAS, NYC currently has approximately 1,100 public bathrooms for a city of 8.5 million people and 60 million annual tourists; and
WHEREAS, This is a ratio of 1 bathroom for every 7,700 residents; and
WHEREAS, Access to restaurant bathrooms will significantly make our public realm more accessible and usable for residents and tourists; and
WHEREAS, Retail Bathroom Programs have been successful in other cities; and
WHEREAS, The United Kingdom has the Community Toilet Scheme where retailers are paid an annual stipend from various tiers depending on the public bathroom amenities they provide to the public; and
WHEREAS, Germany has a similar program called Nette Toilette which started in 2000 and is in over 210 cities; and
WHEREAS, In both programs, the city pays retailers an average annual stipend ranging from $700 to $1,400 (numbers from 2016); and
WHEREAS, A window sign or sticker is placed in retail storefront to let people know their bathrooms are open to the public; and
WHEREAS, The UK has the Great British Toilet Map that indicates the retailers that have opened up their bathrooms to the public, the amenities the bathroom has and the hours of operations; and
WHEREAS, Restaurants that are using our public realm over a certain square footage may consider opening up their bathrooms to the public in recognition that they are profiting from using the public realm for additional seating; and
WHEREAS, Restaurants that are using a smaller footprint may be provided with a voluntary program where their fee would be reduced if they open up their bathrooms to the public; and
WHEREAS, Fees generated from the Open Restaurant program may pay for a stipend for restaurants not participating in the Open Restaurant Program that are willing to open up their bathrooms to the public; and
WHEREAS, This program must be carried out in consultation with the New York Chamber of Commerce and New York Hospitality Alliance; and
WHEREAS, Additional issues may require further study such as insurance or fee structures; and
RESOLVED, CB5 recommends that the Open Restaurant Program include public bathroom access in exchange for the use of our public realm; and be it further,
RESOLVED, CB5 seeks the help of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, our city council members Carlina Rivera (CD2), Keith Powers (CD4), and Erik Bottcher (CD3), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) to amend Intro 0031-2022 Version B - Sidewalk Cafes and Roadway Cafes to include access to public bathrooms so that our public realm can be more equitable, clean, functional and attractive.
The above resolution passed with a vote of 32 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstained: IN FAVOR: Achelis, Athanail, Beitchman, Brosnahan, Ellington, Frewer, Frisz, Garcia, Goshow, Haas, Harris Jr., Hershberg, Hutton, Isaacs, Kalafarski, Kinsella, Law-Gisiko, Levy, Maffia, Marks, McCall, Nazarro, Ny, Shapiro, Slutzkin, Southworth, Sung, Takahashi-Rial, Webb, Xu, Yong, Zulkowitz. ABSTAIN: Barbero.
At this point in the meeting Chair Barbero introduced the following speaker:
Keisha Sutton-James, Deputy Borough President - reporting on behalf of the Borough President, she welcomed all new CB5 board members. She announced upcoming events and then spoke of the Rent Guidelines Board passing of the preliminary vote to increase rents on rent stabilized apartments and a final vote is scheduled for June 21st. She spoke of Artificial Intelligence and what the future of AI should look like and the profound implications for New York City, the country, local economy, workers, schools, local elections and City governments operations.
Ms. Law-Gisiko gave a brief presentation on the following resolution:
123 West 43rd Street, The Town Hall, application for the installation of digital display boxes on the ground floor facade, adjacent to the front entry doors.
WHEREAS, The Town Hall is a 1,500 seat theater venue designed by McKim, Mead and White and completed in 1921, located on the northside of West 43rd Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway and designated an individual landmark by LPC on November 28, 1978; and
WHEREAS, It was founded by the League for Political Education in response to the passing of the 19th amendment; and
WHEREAS, It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2013; and
WHEREAS, The venue has been home to a wide variety of performances from such cultural icons as Pablo Casals, Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, Bob Dylan, and many others; and
WHEREAS, The nonprofit applicant has requested approval for six (6) digital display boxes that are 2’-10” wide x 3’-10” (32 inch diagonal) high and will replace the existing, non-historic, thirteen (13) poster boxes,
WHERAS, The new proposed boxes will match the original black painted metal & glass in style, location, and dimensions, and will reduce the overall square footage of signage, and
WHEREAS, The brightness of the screen maximum is 2,000 nits and is controllable and dimmable remotely; and
WHEREAS, The digital content will allow more creative visual interest than static print, and will allow more information to be displayed as it has the ability to change every 20 seconds; and
WHEREAS, The content will be related to the event programming, offer a QR code, include history of the building and be non-commercial advertising in nature although may include sponsor or supporter name; and
WHEREAS, While the mechanical attachments will not cut through original material, they will go through mortar joints or seals and not through brick; and
WHEREAS, The conduit supplying power to this signage will be concealed on the facade, painted to match the existing brick, and routed to the existing canopy; and
WHEREAS, Community Board Five agrees that the proposed digital poster display box is respectful to The Town Hall, and will bring appropriate information about the current and upcoming shows as well as history of the landmark building; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval for the application by The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, for the installation of a six (6) digital display boxes on the ground floor facade.
After brief discussion, the above resolution passed with a vote of 32 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstained: IN FAVOR: Achelis, Athanail, Beitchman, Brosnahan, Ellington, Frewer, Frisz, Garcia, Goshow, Haas, Harris Jr., Hershberg, Hutton, Isaacs, Kalafarski, Kinsella, Law-Gisiko, Levy, Maffia, Marks, McCall, Nazarro, Ny, Shapiro, Slutzkin, Southworth, Sung, Takahashi-Rial, Webb, Xu, Yong, Zulkowitz. ABSTAIN: Barbero.
Ms. Law-Gisiko gave a presentation on the following resolution.
City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality text amendments to the Zoning Resolution
WHEREAS, the Department of City Planning (DCP) is proposing a series of changes to the Zoning Resolution (ZR) over the next year and a half under Mayor Eric Adams’ “City of Yes” initiative; and
WHEREAS, the first set of ZR text amendments under this initiative is called “City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality”, which includes many individual text amendments that are hoped to be helpful in the city’s efforts to achieve goals set by law by New York State (NYS) and New York City (NYC); and
WHEREAS, in 2012, NYC enacted “Zone Green” zoning text amendments which allowed voluntary, experimental building features that would reduce greenhouse gas production; and
WHEREAS, in 2019, NYC enacted Local Law 97 “Climate Mobilization Act” which requires, 60% of all existing buildings (those over 25,000 square feet) and all new development to
WHEREAS, in 2021, NYC enacted Local Law 154 which, starting in 2027, prohibits any new construction from installing equipment that burns fossil fuels; and
WHEREAS, NYS has set goals for itself, through the 2019 Climate Act and subsequent amendments, which include:
WHEREAS, NYC and NYS have both pledged to meet the 2015 United Nations Paris Agreement on Climate Change to limit greenhouse gas emissions and the global rise in average temperature to a maximum of two degrees Celsius; and
WHEREAS, According to DCP, up to 71% of all NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions come from building operations and up to 4% come from our waste stream; and
WHEREAS, DCP has jurisdiction over zoning regulations that cover allowances for private property uses and DCP believes these proposed actions within their jurisdiction will help the city meet the greenhouse gas reduction goals set by NYC and NYS laws; and
WHEREAS, The “City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality” package of text amendments are grouped under 17 topics that are aimed to help NYC reach 4 goals:
WHEREAS, to reach the goal in decarbonizing our energy grid, the first five of DCP’s amendment topics are for allowing greater solar and wind energy production and energy storage, and include:
WHEREAS, Building owners are not required to have ESS systems to store the energy that is produced on their lot and may have “net metering” with or without an ESS, where excess electricity production is sold to the electric utility company as a credit against the building’s utility bill (akin to the electric meter running backwards); and
WHEREAS, To reach the goal of decarbonizing our buildings, DCP’s proposal includes text amendments that are aimed at supporting buildings to become more energy efficient and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions:
WHEREAS, a FAR exemption is not a FAR bonus, and so, any additional height, bulk, and/or obstructions are only for retrofitted mechanical equipment and retrofitted insulation (or for ultra-low-energy buildings’ mechanical equipment and insulation) and it does not create any additional floor area; and
WHEREAS, DCP says zoning regulations can contribute to decarbonizing our vehicles by using their jurisdiction over off-street parking and off-street vehicle charging to allow for greater infrastructure for biking and electric vehicles (EV) through the following five topics of text amendments:
WHEREAS, the final four of the 17 topics of DCP’s City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality text amendments are to help reach the goal of decarbonizing our waste stream by allowing composting and rainwater collection through:
WHEREAS, under an “18th” miscellaneous/administrative grouping, DCP also proposes to eliminate redundancies within the text of the ZR that were added by amendments over the past 60 years and are scattered throughout the ZR by consolidating lists for easier understanding and administration and would include:
WHEREAS, Manhattan Community Board Five has been supportive of the four stated goals of “City of Yes Carbon Neutrality” by our long history of advocacy for
WHEREAS Manhattan Community Board Five applauds DCP’s efforts to make the Zoning Resolution less unwieldy and more understandable; and
WHEREAS, Manhattan Community Board Five continues to have concerns about:
WHEREAS, Manhattan Community Board Five continues to have questions regarding:
WHEREAS, the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice has created the NYC Accelerator to help building owners and industry professionals understand compliance with energy efficiency laws and regulations, while also assisting building owners to connect to any federal, state, or local programs that will aid them in upgrading their building; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Manhattan Community Board Five recommends the approval of the Department of City Planning’s “City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality” text amendments to the Zoning Resolution; and be it further
RESOLVED, Manhattan Community Board Five asks the Department of City Planning to reform the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) Technical Manual both generally, for all sections of the manual, and more specifically, for including as within scope the environmental impact of any new development on a neighborhood’s solar panel installations.
The resolution on 262 5th Avenue passed with a vote of 32 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstained: IN FAVOR: Achelis, Athanail, Beitchman, Brosnahan, Ellington, Frewer, Frisz, Garcia, Goshow, Haas, Harris Jr., Hershberg, Hutton, Isaacs, Kalafarski, Kinsella, Law-Gisiko, Levy, Maffia, Marks, McCall, Nazarro, Ny, Shapiro, Slutzkin, Southworth, Sung, Takahashi-Rial, Webb, Xu, Yong, Zulkowitz. ABSTAIN: Barbero.
Mr. Athanail gave a brief presentation on the following resolution:
Grimoire Group, LLC, dba “Vie en Rose”, 133 West 30th Street (Between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), New York, NY, application for a new catering liquor license.
WHEREAS, Grimoire Group, LLC (“Applicant”), has notified Community Board Five of its intention to apply for a new catering liquor license for an event space located at 133 West 30th Street (Between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), New York, NY (the “Premises”); and
WHEREAS, The Premises is approximately 4,000 square feet on the ground and mezzanine levels of the space; and
WHEREAS, Current capacity of the Premises is approximately 100 persons; and
WHEREAS, Future plans for the Premises may include expansion onto the basement space for additional square footage and additional capacity; and
WHEREAS, The Premises is located on a mixed use block, with the nearest residential buildings immediately across the street at 130 West 30th Street and another two doors away at 143 West 30th Street; and
WHEREAS, Aside from several one-time catering permits issued for the space, the Premises has never before had a liquor license; and
WHEREAS, This block has several restaurants currently in operation as well as two to three additional restaurant operations which have been approved; and
WHEREAS, This block has a single lane of traffic with no loading zines; and
WHEREAS, This location, being home to the NYPD Traffic Control Division station house at 138 West 30th Street, already suffers from extraordinary traffic congestion; and
WHEREAS, Applicant proposes to operate an event space, specializing in “curated events” and “immersive experiences”; and
WHEREAS, Applicant works with “event teams” to promote the events and sell tickets, in order to maximize attendance; and
WHEREAS, Applicant stated that this method of operation requires late hours – at least until 3AM or 4AM - because the clients who book or finance these events require late hours to recoup their investments, and that they already have several parties booked which require late operating hours; and
WHEREAS, Applicant stated that this method of operation, involving “ticketed segments,” requires a velvet rope and sidewalk queuing, although at some point, using the basement space for queuing may be an alternative; and
WHEREAS, A “ticketed by segment” operation could produce as many as 500 patrons or more to every event (for example, 100 person capacity x 5 segments = 500 patrons over the course of an event); and
WHEREAS, Unlike a bar or restaurant operation, which may be busy from time to time during meal times or perhaps around a sporting event, the nature of a ticketed “events” based operation lends itself to maximum occupancy all night, every night; and
WHEREAS, Applicant obtained several one-time catering permits from the SLA and held “pop-up” events at the Premises on October 29, 2022, October 30, 2022, December 31, 2022, and February 11, 2023, which caused great disturbance to the block, with unruly patrons crowding the sidewalks on both sides of the street as well as in the street itself, and which required a police response to control the mayhem; and
WEHREAS, A resident from the building immediately across the street from the Premises testified that patrons from the events were seen vomiting in the street as well as in the planter boxes in front of the residential building; and
WHEREAS, Residents of the block testified to the unruly nature of these events and provided photos and videos of the scene to document the conditions (see photos annexed); and
WHEREAS, Representatives from the 29th Street Neighborhood provided written and verbal testimony asserting that the operation is completely incompatible with this location; and
WHEREAS, Community Board Five finds that an “events based” operation is not appropriate for this location and would have a material adverse effect on quality of life in the neighborhood and set a destructive precedent for existing and future operators on the block; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five requests that the SLA not issue any additional one-time catering permits for the Premises; and be it further
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by Grimoire Group, LLC for a new catering liquor license for an event space located at 133 West 30th Street (Between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), New York, NY.
After some discussion, the above resolution passed with a vote of 31 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstained: IN FAVOR: Achelis, Athanail, Beitchman, Brosnahan, Ellington, Frewer, Frisz, Garcia, Goshow, Haas, Harris Jr., Hershberg, Hutton, Isaacs, Kalafarski, Kinsella, Law-Gisiko, Levy, Marks, McCall, Nazarro, Ny, Shapiro, Slutzkin, Southworth, Sung, Takahashi-Rial, Webb, Xu, Yong, Zulkowitz. ABSTAIN: Barbero.
Mr. Kalafarski gave brief presentations on the following bundled resolutions:
Application by Xavier Mission for a Block Party on West 16th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues on June 17, 2023
WHEREAS, The Xavier Mission (the “Applicant”), founded in 1983, is an organization providing basic services as well as opportunities for empowerment and self-sufficiency to New Yorkers in need; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant offers services and programs that include a food pantry, clothing, financial assistance, lunch service every Sunday, and Life Skills Empowerment Programs; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant seeks a permit to hold a Block Party on West 16th St between 5th and 6th Avenues to celebrate its 40th Anniversary and the Church of St. Francis Xavier’s 30th anniversary of its LGBTQ ministry; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant’s headquarters is located at 55 West 15th Street; and
WHEREAS, The proposed event is a one-time event to be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant requests a street closure for West 16th St between 5th and 6th Avenues on Saturday, June 17, 2023, to allow adequate time to set up and breakdown the event; and
WHEREAS, Setup will be at 9:00 a.m. and breakdown at 4:30 p.m.; and
WHEREAS, The proposed event will offer a DJ playing music, carnival games, a bounce house, a 15-foot tent, and potentially but unlikely a small stage; and
WHEREAS, The estimated attendance at this event will be 500 to 999 throughout the day; and
WHEREAS, The event will be a family friendly event with a focus on children, families, and members of the community; and
WHEREAS, The event will contain branding and advertising for the Applicant and its 40th Anniversary; and
WHEREAS, The event will have on-site security for the length of the event; and
WHEREAS, The event will include solicitation of funds in service to the Applicant’s mission, and the Applicant is securing a Solicitation Permit from HRA; and
WHEREAS, The event will include amplified sound, and the Applicant has secured a sound permit from NYPD, as well as a generator permit from FDNY; and
WHEREAS, No outside vendors will sell or operate within the Block Party, except those employed by the Applicant for the operation of the facilities such as the bounce house; and
WHEREAS, The event is materially similar to previous celebrations held by the Applicant in 2018 and 2013; and
WHEREAS, Block Party applications are required to be submitted 60 days prior to an event to allow for community review; and
WHEREAS, Emergency vehicles will have access via the mandated 15-foot fire lane, and MTA Access-A-Ride services should be informed to allow for continued and proper access to local residents as needed; and
WHEREAS, Numerous members of the community and those who have benefited from the Applicant’s services have thanked and expressed support for both the well-run operations of the Applicant, and came out to support the specific application; and
WHEREAS, Certain local elected officials have also expressed support for the application; and
WHEREAS, As the proposed event will be open to the public and is classified officially as a Block Party, this public event will not violate Community Board Five’s existing moratorium on new Street Fairs;
WHEREAS, Community Board Five is a strong supporter of the Applicant’s mission, and is very appreciative of all the work they have done over the years to benefit the district of Community Board Five and New York City community; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the Applicant’s application for a permit to hold a Block Party on West 16th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues on Saturday, June 17, 2023.
Request by MJM Travel, dba Silver Star Transportation, for an intercity bus stop at 810 8th Avenue on the east side of 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets
WHEREAS, MJM Travel, dba Silver Star Transportation, requests an intercity bus stop from the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) at 810 8th Avenue on the east side of 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, with six daily drop-offs, Monday through Sunday, at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 8:45 p.m., and 9:30 p.m., bringing passengers from Atlantic City and Woodbury Commons; and
WHEREAS, The requested location is currently marked No Standing, is already licensed to TopView Sightseeing company, and according to DOT this site allows for the addition of another bus company; and
WHEREAS, Community members expressed serious concern—both at a Community Board Five committee hearing about this application and via multiple emails from residents of the Avalon Midtown West apartment building at this location—about this location being already extremely congested, due multiple existing factors, including:
WHEREAS, Community Board Five continues to call on DOT to develop a comprehensive plan for street use in the district in conjunction with the city’s appointed Chief Public Realm Officer, and reiterates its stated position that when the Port Authority’s reconstruction of the Port Authority Bus Terminal is complete, which will include the construction of a new intercity bus terminal, all point-to-point intercity bus service must be taken off the sidewalks of midtown Manhattan and moved into the new intercity terminal; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five finds significant concern for the proposed bus stop at 810 8th Avenue on the east side of 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, including extreme existing congestion at this location from a multitude of factors and concern about an additional bus stop making the congestion even worse.
After some discussion, the above bundled resolutions passed with a vote of 31 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstained: IN FAVOR: Achelis, Athanail, Beitchman, Brosnahan, Ellington, Frewer, Frisz, Garcia, Goshow, Haas, Harris Jr., Hershberg, Hutton, Isaacs, Kalafarski, Kinsella, Law-Gisiko, Levy, Marks, McCall, Nazarro, Ny, Shapiro, Slutzkin, Southworth, Sung, Takahashi-Rial, Webb, Xu, Yong, Zulkowitz. ABSTAIN: Barbero.
Mr. Tod Shapiro then gave a report on the open restaurants law to be voted on by the city council in the next two to three weeks. He stated that a few months back, CB5 voted on a resolution based on the work of the committee and task force where it was noted the important things that should be part of a permanent program and areas of concern based on what was heard up to that point. Below is a breakdown of major points:
Areas of Concern
Several members commended Todd and his task force for their tireless work – and Todd, in particular, for such a concise, but thorough presentation of the complex issues related to Sidewalk Cafes.
The public was invited to comment on topics of interest to the Board. Seeing no speakers from the public, the Public Session was closed. The Full Board meeting of Community Board Five was adjourned by Chair Barbero at 8:00pm.
Respectfully submitted by,