Children’s Magical Garden Collects 1,600+ Signatures, Plans Costume Party Rally
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It’s go time for the Children’s Magical Garden. The beloved Stanton Street green space – founded in 1983 – continues its successful collection of endorsements to remain afloat. Come Thursday evening, advocates will seek support from Community Board 3 to keep this treasure on the Lower East Side intact.
Preceding the meeting, the garden will hold a rally and costume party to further gain awareness of their cause (4 pm – 6 pm). To date, the Children’s Magical Garden received over 1,600 signatures both in person and via online petition. In addition, 30 neighborhood businesses have voiced support.
Those in charge of the garden hope to tear down the fence currently bisecting the lot, marking the boundary of Serge Hoyda’s land holding. The developer is hell-bent on seizing the whole space, two-thirds of which is HPD-owned, to create a mixed project of affordable and market-rate housing.
Talks have been underway to conduct a swap whereby CMG can remain and the developer can take another city-owned parcel nearby. Here’s what the preservationists want:
- Tell Mayor Bloomberg to immediately transfer the 2/3 of the community garden into Parks GreenThumb.
- Offer a land swap to give developer Serge Hoyda another city owned property. The developer is open to that and this has also requested by our councilmember Chin.
The fence was built in the first place due to alleged concerns over insurance liability if anyone was hurt on his property. So, in mid-May, the gardeners took out a $2 million insurance policy that indemnifies Hoyda and NDC against any lawsuits due to injury in the garden.
It’s an election year, so politicians are speaking up on the matter. Both Councilmember Margaret Chin and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn are calling on Hoyda to tear down the wall, as it were.
UPDATE: HPD contacted us to say that “[Any] ‘land-swap’ where HPD would take the privately owned lot and provide Mr. Hoyda with a city-owned lot somewhere else has never been discussed with any of the parties involved and at no point has that ever been a consideration.”