City Delays Environmental Review Process for 3 Proposed Supertall Towers on the LES Waterfront

Posted on: April 11th, 2017 at 5:10 am by
The new Lower East Side waterfront

The new Lower East Side waterfront

The Department of City Planning decided yesterday to delay the environmental scoping hearing for three proposed developments on the Two Bridges waterfront. Said meeting is now postponed one month to May 25, a small victory for the neighborhood, which is being exploited big time.

On March 17, Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer sent a letter to the developers of the three proposed supertall developments – JDS Development (1,000 feet), Starrett Corp. (724 feet), CIM/L+M (800-feet) – urging them to delay the EIS Scoping Hearing to allow for more community input. The developers denied that request.

Two weeks later, Chin and Brewer went over their heads to City Planning to demand the same, in order to “allow for equal language access.” Current scoping documents in circulation, which include information about the size of the projects and their potential impact on roadways, public transit and schools, are only available in English, despite the large number of Spanish and Chinese speakers in the vicinity.

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The slight delay arrives three months after area activists torpedoed an EIS scoping session with the developers, and accused Brewer and Chin of not doing enough. Residents took the opportunity to pile on for over thirty minutes, venting their pent-up frustrations, calling the carpetbaggers “blood sucking insects” with no regard for the waterfront community. How they’re “crowding us out down here” and that constructing super-tall towers with a pittance of “affordable” housing units is “bullshit.”

So, the action sorta worked…

“The Two Bridges community needs time to consider all of the impacts of these massive development projects – and that requires the release of information in a language that they can understand,” said Councilwoman Margaret Chin in a public statement. “That is why I joined Borough President Brewer to fight for more time for the community to arrive at a consensus about its needs and desired outcomes. In order to achieve this goal, I will continue to fight to ensure that residents and business owners in Two Bridges are heard.”

“When it comes to protecting our communities’ rights in the land use and environmental review processes, I believe in dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Public disclosure and public review are only meaningful if they’re accessible to everyone, and in this neighborhood, that means materials need to be available in Chinese and Spanish. I’m glad that the city has pushed back this scoping process and will give residents and local businesses more opportunity to figure out what they’ll need if these developments move forward.”

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