STATEMENT FROM COUNCIL MEMBER DAN GARODNICK
Re: Commercial Activity in Stuyvesant Town
The Department of City Planning (DCP) has responded to the questions I posed to them about commercial activities in Stuyvesant Town.
With regard to the planned ice skating rink, DCP has advised that, due to “the unusualness of this circumstance,” we should seek the review of the Department of Buildings (DOB), which enforces zoning regulations. My office has already reached out to the DOB for a final word on whether an ice skating rink, for a fee, conforms to the R7-2 zoning regulation applicable in Stuyvesant Town.
Further, I have asked the DOB for a complete review of the construction permits and the work that is actively being performed – including the electrical wires being strung through trees – to ensure that any construction activity is being conducted without risk to residents or workers, and within appropriate hours of the day. We expect the appropriate enforcement of any violations.
I have also asked the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a test of the sound that will be emitted from various ice machines in order to ensure compliance with the noise code, and to confirm the safety of chemicals that appear to be used in connection with the rink.
With regard to other commercial activities – such as food trucks and greenmarkets – that are not permitted in an R7-2 residential zone, we expect CW Capital/Rose Associates to bring themselves into compliance with the law. I am happy to offer the assistance of my office in helping to relocate the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket to an area around the property that would be both legal and convenient for the many residents who enjoy making use of it.
Residents who want to know what you can do to expedite enforcement on the ice rink or any other issue are advised to call 311 and to contact my office with your 311 reference number which will be helpful to us in following up. Residents should also feel free to contact my office at (212) 818-0580 with questions or concerns on any of these matters.
STR here: Thanks to Dan Garodnick and his office for pursuing the legality of commercial activities inside Stuyvesant Town. It appears that the ice-skating rink WAS the straw that broke the camel's back. The powers that be just went too far on this. A strong spotlight came on not only the rink, but the other commercial activities that have been going on in the Oval. The ice skating rink issue is not yet settled, but it appears that if admission is charged and the rink is open to outsiders, the rink cannot be considered "accessory" usage.
The pity is that the relatively popular Farmer's Market is a causality here (at least within the confines of R7-2 zoning), but the blame rests purely on the powers that be who were speeding up the commercialization occurring inside Stuy Town while ignoring the concerns of tenants or the Tenants Association.
As for the Food Trucks, I'm going to send off a message to Joyride, who can now take a joy ride someplace else.
In summary, this is a substantial victory for what Stuyvesant Town has stood for and what it can hopefully stand for again.
Please, to whomever is "the powers that be"--all tenants want is for their buildings and the property to be clean and attractive, and for the traditional duties of a landlord to a tenant (heat, water, neighbor noise control, etc) to run smoothly. That's it! And so simple, without excessive expenditure.