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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Food Trucks and Green Markets NOT Permitted in Stuy Town! Ice-Rink May Not Be Considered "Accessory" Use if Paid Admission and Open to Outsiders

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.

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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.

48 comments:

Stuy Lifer said...

I think/hope this will be the end of the rink. If a Greenmarket that makes relatively little noise is illegal because it's classified as commercial activity, how can large plastic tents, electrical wires, and a for-profit, open-to-the-public, music-blasting skating rink be legal? Enough is enough. Hopefully we can go back to 1997. No, not the days of dial-up internet, but the days of a quiet, beautiful, overall serene Oval free of moneymaking grabs by the landlord.

Fed Up Tenant said...

WOO HOO!!! YIPPEE!!!!! No more ILLEGAL Greenmarket and food trucks INSIDE of Stuyvesant Town!!!

Take THAT CW Capital Offense and I don’t give A dam about you tenants Rose!

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!

Two down (Greenmarket & food trucks); one to go (skating rink).

Anonymous said...

It will be Good Riddance to the whole stinking lot of them. Glad Dan finally grew a pair!

Anonymous said...

BRAVO! Thank god we have Dan Garodnick, the TA, STR and Lux keeping an eye on this place.

Anonymous said...

I love it! They rent, deliver and install all of this dreck to erect the ill-fated rink. They get it all in place just in the nick of time to get shut down by the city.

Now they're out a million bucks (someone else's estimate), their whole Atrocity package is collapsing around them as a result (Garodnick's proclamation) and they look like total fools (my assessment). And you KNOW someone is going to get ripped "a new one" over this colossal failure.

Ahh...it's really starting to feel like the holidays!

Anonymous said...

Yes.. all well and good but will Rose and CW abide by these regulations.

Look what happened with the J51 case.

Management will do all and everything to make a buck and will do so until legal remedies are enforced.

This may take some time. I expect court battles.

Sadly, I think the ice skating rink will open. Hopefully it will be a one time legal failure and we'll not see it again next winter.

Keep up the fight.

Anonymous said...

How about this for an amenity--a read-in. Bring a book, a magazine, an ereader and enjoy the Oval. Anyone of any age can participate and no one will be disturbed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dan.

Anonymous said...

"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."

Well said STR.

Thanks for all your work on this.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Rose! This Mud's for you!
Thank you STR, Lux Living and Dan Garodnick! Power to the people!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a read in, but instead of being on the Oval it should be inside one or all of the Oval Atrocities. If those "members only" little glass boxy buildings were completely overrun by "non member" tenants who peacefully assembled and read and refused to move, what could Rose do? I don't think our fat, lazy bozo "security" offices could do much. I don't think the 13th Precinct professional police officers would be interested in coming in and arresting us all. Something to think about.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I don't believe Rose had anything to do with putting in the commercialization here, other than following orders. This place looked the best, right before the sale to Tishman Speyer, and Rose was in charge then. If Rose can get Stuy Town/PCV looking and operating as then, it will be a very good thing.

Anonymous said...

This was not Rose's idea. They were following the orders of CW Capital, the new Tishman Speyer!

Anonymous said...

Grab your goats and hold them close!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that Oval Atrocities moved their office from the legitimate storefront on 1st Avenue to a space in 1 Stuy Oval?

Perhaps another zoning issue?

Anonymous said...

@3:11 They only put the ST/NTT related businesses in the First Avenue storefronts to keep the entire street from looking empty. Empty and green. Ugly ugly ugly green.

Anonymous said...

A few points of note.
First is that Council Member Garodnick's request to the City Planning folks was made at the request of the leadership pf the Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village Tenants association, which is noted in the very first line of his letter to City Planning. Many of the Board members have been pushing hard on the zoning issues for some time now. Thus, kudos should go to the TA as well as to Dan for acting on that request and for his follow up actions relating to it.

Second, while Rose does act at the direction of CW Capital, particularly Andrew McArthur,the reality is that Rose works closely in collaboration with CW. In addition, as is clear in Adam Rose's response to Council Member Garodnick, as well as in his comment to T&V that these are "minor" commercial interruptions, Rose advocates and defends these violations and does not care about the legitimate concrens of the residents related to them.

Lastly, many of us who have lived here for the life of this community would dispute that assertion that place looked its best when Rose was in charge, before the TS era. Rose started many of the things that TS pushed and since teir return they have been an utter failure as property manager.

Anonymous said...

What about Oval atrocities. Are they legal?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ November 8, 2011 4:01 PM,

Agreed on all points.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Oval atrocities are legal under the zoning resolution. Having said that, one might question the compliance with the health code for the food service in oval lounge - inspection certificates etc. Since I am not a member of the club, can anyone advise if they charge for the Saturday and Sunday servings? That could be an issue just like the planned cafe at the rink, which is very clearly a commercial activity that does not fit the definition of accessory use in the zoning resolution.

The Oval concierge may be worth taking a look since, as many know, it really is a replacement for the operation that was formerly on First Avenue.

If you really want to break their chops, complain about the zip car operations in PCV on the road and the zip car table at the market. Zip cars are not an accessory use either.

Anonymous said...

Always nice to hear from the Tenants Association, especially since they are voiceless the other 364 days a year. Good job jumping in and claiming the credit !

Anonymous said...

I don't think that the grounds were at their best during Rose's first regime. Remember it was Steven Stadmeyer who had all the beautiful trees in the Oval cut down in order to "open up the Oval." That man was a menace and had a "kiss my ass" attitude towards the tenants, especially the rent stabilized tenants. In my opinion, Rose Associates is no better than Tishman Speyer inasmuch as the welfare of the tenants (RS and MR) doesn't even enter into their vision. All they want to do is churn the apartments and in order to do this they endeavor to market to the demographic that will come in with 4 or 5 unrelated roommates, pay ridiculous rent (parentally subsidized mostly), move out and make room for the next of their kind. The fact that this is HOME to a good many people is meaningless to Rose Associates and CW Cap. If it were their home they would feel differently, I'm sure. We're not dealing with nice people of good will here; we're dealing with cut-throat profiteers. Just like the Speyers.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Well, all I know is that I had an epiphany of sorts while sitting in the Oval area in the summer, a few months before the sale of ST/PCV. Everything was in bloom and it really felt as if the place where I was sitting was so far away from Manhattan (yet so near, if I wanted), and so luxurious, vibrant and calming, that I reflected how very lucky I was to be living in Stuy Town.

Anonymous said...

Re: The trees. I was offended by their removal too, but have come to realize that after 60 years many of the trees suffered from poor health. I think the problem with their removal was that they weren't replaced with suitable replacement trees. Lots of bad decisions have been made in ST/PCV. I'm thinking about all the defective concrete that we paid for with an MCI, and the asphalt that they used to replace all the walkways which made the interior temps of the complex significantly higher. Oh, and those deluxe tin cans they call elevators ? And the argon filled exploding windows ? The intercoms they put in because THEY wanted to make a profit on them instead of the telephone company. Oh.. I can go on.

Anonymous said...

"Well, all I know is that I had an epiphany of sorts while sitting in the Oval area in the summer, a few months before the sale of ST/PCV. Everything was in bloom and it really felt as if the place where I was sitting was so far away from Manhattan (yet so near, if I wanted), and so luxurious, vibrant and calming, that I reflected how very lucky I was to be living in Stuy Town."

Are you saying that that was more fun than sitting in the mud listening to some tone-deaf bank playing along with some mooing "singer" who is equally tone-deaf competing with the hum of the Joyride and Mud and Dumplings trucks? You mean you liked it better when the Oval was in full bloom with trees and flowers instead of beer bottles and dog doo? Really! What terrible taste you have! ;-)

Anonymous said...

The greenmarket? You better believe I will be starting a petition and pull every city council string I have to STOP you from doing this. The greenmarket is staying.

Anonymous said...

Are Rose Associates and CW Cap THAT ignorant of the laws pertaining to zoning and commercial activities on residential property, OR are they just so used to back room deals that they think they are untouchable? The latter has been the reason New York City is even mentioned in tourist guidebooks (I remember reading one!) as having the most corrupt politicians in the USA. It was mentioned as a bit of novelty trivia, but sadly it is very, very true and it affects us all in a very negative way. I'm glad Garodnick finally stepped up to the plate and did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

So, is it safe to assume that when I stroll by the 14th St. loop tomorrow I won't see a Joyride truck spewing fumes and selling crap?!?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

As of right now, there should be NO food trucks or a green market at the Oval. That's the way I read it. Otherwise, zoning laws will be purposefully broken.

I would assume, however, that lawyers for the other side are in full swing, looking into this.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully for the majority of us who LOVE the greenmarket, I read the statement about the greenmarkets as Garodnick's gratuitous "opinion" about any potential/existing illegal zoning activity, and not a ruling from the DOB about the greenmarket. So when he says, "I expect CW Capital/Rose Associates to comply..." it's pretty clear that he means, he is asking/hoping generally, and focusing more on the ice rink, not that there is any legal ruling about the greenmarket's legality. I don't think this has any effect on the greenmarket (or the food trucks for that matter, though the latter I have no feeling about good or bad).

But he's running for higher office, so there's NO WAY he's going to piss off so many people by affirmatively getting rid of the farmer's market--including pissing off the Speaker, who is running for mayor and her advocacy for local food sources/markets is one of her strongest assets and why she's so popular.

I do hope they get rid of the ice rink, but that is a whole different type of thing, and more likely to be ruled illegal than the farmers' market. Don't forget, the GrowNYC organization is the one that has to get the appropriate permits for all their markets, so they've already done that and followed legal procedures. They are the ones who face fines or not, not Stuytown's owners, so they, in the course of operation, ensure that they have all their permits in order for each market. I'm sure Garodnick knows that and that this is really a nonissue. You should give that up and focus on the real problem.

Quiet Oval said...

Kudos to the "Quiet Oval Rally" organizers and attendees for raising awareness and keeping the pressure on the TA and Dan. To add your name to the Good Neighbor Petition please send an email to quietoval@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

The greenmarket? You better believe I will be starting a petition and pull every city council string I have to STOP you from doing this. The greenmarket is staying.

You're going to "pull every city council string" you have? I guess you are part of the disease instead of part of the cure. It's because of all those city council strings and the pullers that the city is the den of corruption and qui pro quo that it is. We will be watching and you won't find it so easy anymore because we are SICK of your sleazy kind. City council members and their string-pullers are going to be under a lot more scrutiny than they ever have been going forward. That's a promise.

Anonymous said...

The green market is The one good thing that that has happened around here and you killed it!
You the TA, and Councilman Dan are the only people that I know who could ruin a wet-dream!

Fed Up Tenant said...

The greenmarket? You better believe I will be starting a petition and pull every city council string I have to STOP you from doing this. The greenmarket is staying.

Councilman Garodnick has already said that he is willing to help Management relocate the Greenmarket to somewhere close by OUTSIDE of Stuyvesant Town. Most reasonable people will probably think that that's a good and fair compromise. Really, can you not get off of your LAZY BUTT to walk a couple of blocks to continue to patronize it?!

And, just in case you don't know, there's another Greenmarket located just outside of Tompkins Square Park at Ave. A and East 7th St. that is open Sundays, YEAR-ROUND from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

This is a RESIDENTIAL property not CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES. The Greenmarket's presence INSIDE of Stuyvesant Town is ILLEGAL. What don't you get about that? We don't need to have every "amenity" known to the civilized world on site. Thankfully - and sensibly - the Dept. of City Planning agrees.

Anonymous said...

"The green market is The one good thing that that has happened around here and you killed it!
You the TA, and Councilman Dan are the only people that I know who could ruin a wet-dream!"

Get over yourself. If CW Capital didn't force the hideous decontamination tent on us you'd still have your Farmer's Market 50 feet from the buildings. They'll move it to a loop road or some place close by. Too F*CKING bad if you have to walk an extra 100 feet to buy a cup of cider you narcissistic twerp.

Fed Up Tenant said...

Thankfully for the majority of us who LOVE the greenmarket, I read the statement about the greenmarkets as Garodnick's gratuitous "opinion" about any potential/existing illegal zoning activity, and not a ruling from the DOB about the greenmarket.

It's amazing - and scary - how DELUSIONAL people can be when it doesn't suit them to hear or understand facts.

It is NOT just Councilman Garodnick's gratuitous "opinion", it is the ruling of The Department of City Planning. A Greenmarket INSIDE of Stuyvesant Town is ILLEGAL. Period. End of story.

Except, apparently, for willfully ignorant, stupid people like you!

Anonymous said...

I stopped by the green market several times and didn't buy anything because the produce looked old and dirty. The stalls selling the "artisinal" cheeses make me want to puke. I think they are breaking health code laws apart from just looking disgusting. I buy my fruits and veggies from the Union Square farmers' market and occasionally from the guys who have stalls in from the Post Office on 14th Street and in front of the bank near CVS on First Avenue. Their produce is fresh and low priced. We don't need that stinking green market on the Oval! It will be no loss whatsoever to the majority of us who know where better produce is obtainable and don't mind actually going off the campus!

Anonymous said...

OMG We're surrounded by ignorance and insanity. I'm on Fed Up Tenant's team! It's NYC! These people want to live in a bubble instead of enjoying the glory of NYC, of finding anything you want in great neighborhoods -- some even nearby! Get out! See the sights. Plenty of green markets and coffee and dumplings and tons of other stuff. If you want a gated community, go live in one. And I bet you Stump-loving lazy people aren't the cranky old "subsidized" tenants! Wow! Get out! See the world! There's more to life than the confines of this luxurious red-brick maze.

Anonymous said...

Folks, the fact of the matter is not weather or not you like the Greenmarket, Skating Rink or any other business inside the Oval, it will be the rule of law that says what can or cannot be held there.

Just because someone chose to ignore the law doesn't mean it's OK. And to the person who thinks that they can pull their personal "strings" with the City Council to have their way, I can tell you that the City Council, just like every other branch of city government is bound by law, and you now have a whole lot of people who will make sure that they (and others) do their jobs and uphold those laws.

Anonymous said...

If you want to live in the middle of a "greenmarket," grab your sleeping bag and start "Occupy Whole Foods."

For those of you who have decided that the law does not apply to you, then you will ultimately occupy a different kind of facility. And my guess is that it will not be green...

Anonymous said...

The skating rink tent DOES look like a decontamination tent right out of The Crazies! ROFLMAO!!!

Anonymous said...

PCV/ST looked great and was prepped for sale by MetLife well before Rose Associates managed the property. Almost all of the upgrades were completed or planned well before Rose came on board pre-sale to Tishman. Some previous residents were very critical of Metlife but the buildings were well managed and properly maintained under that owner.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rose,
In your 11/7 letter to Councilman Garodnick you assured him that "We will do everything possible to minimize the disturbance that may be caused by the ice rink to the buildings that surround it." So when does that kick in? It sure wasn't last night.

We live directly across from the ice rink and there has been a compressor loudly running since 3 p.m. yesterday. Even with all the windows in our apartment closed, it is so noisy no one in our household could sleep. For me, this is really problematic because I am recovering from surgery and rest is essential.

Putting aside environmental issues of the energy required to run an ice rink, if you wanted a "Winter Wonderland," why didn't you wait until winter to create it? According to my calendar, that's December 22nd. Running a compressor to create ice when the temperature is in the 60s is ridiculous, wasteful, and means it will be chugging non-stop per workers on the rink.

Please advise as to how you'll be mitigating this noise in the meantime. And we would be more than happy to invite you to sleepover here and experience this "amenity" for yourself. We're always up.

Sheila & Kevin
20th St. Loop

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Sheila & Kevin, that's pretty outrageous. Let me know if it's okay to place your letter as a post on the main blog page.

Anonymous said...

Sheila and Kevin,

You need to call 311 and file a noise complaint with the DEP.

Here's some basic information from NYC.gov

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/noise_code_guide.pdf

Anonymous said...

From Sheila & Kevin:
We did call 311 and file a complaint; the Dept. of Enivornment Protection will look into/make an appt. to come see us in the next 10 days.
FIne with us, Stuytown Reporter, if you put our letter on the front of the blog, BUT, please include in your reportage, that I did get a same-day response:
-- Adam Rose emailed a direct answer, apologized for the compressor noise, and directed workers to correct it immediately
-- He also had his assistant call and thank me for bringing the problem to his attention.

The compressor is still going, so I'm not sure what this all means, but Rose did respond. We'll see tonight.

Anonymous said...

Re: Adam's response to Sheila and Kevin. He needed to have the noise brought to his attention? He has no idea what is going on here? That's the definition of disingenuous. He knows precisely what's going on, but he's pretending that he, too, is some sort of innocent victim or bystander. How stupid do we look, Adam? You're pretty transparent.

Fed Up Tenant said...

Bravo! Sheila & Kevin - 20th St. Loop.

I think that EVERYONE should email Mr. Rose about the skating rink AND also the continued, ILLEGAL presence of the food trucks.

Here's his email address:
adam@rosenyc.com