Two Bridges residents rally for full review of waterfront skyscrapers

At a rally on Tuesday, neighborhood residents and pols continued to advocate for a ULURP at the site of three proposed developments to rise over 700 feet

Two Bridges residents and area pols are still calling for action against well-circulated plans to construct three waterfront developments that will each soar over 700 feet.

On Tuesday, opponents of the plan staged a rally in front of the Department of City Planning headquarters calling for a public review of the towers, a move Crain’s notes could hand veto power for the projects to Council member Margaret Chin, a noted opponent of the plans in their current iteration.

Representatives for Chin, U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer were on hand at Tuesday’s rally, Bedford and Bowery reports. The pols have continued to urge DCP’s new director, Marisa Lago, to impose a ULURP on the site, reversing course from the decision of former DCP director Carl Weisbrod.

JDS Development Group, Starrett Corporation, and L+M Development Partners with CIM Group have each planned towers within the Two Bridges Large Scale Residential Development area, where zoning laws are in place that allow the developments to rise without the okay from the borough president, City Planning Commission, City Council, and the mayor that a ULURP would require.

If the development plan were to appear in front of the City Council, Crain’s says Chin could “theoretically rally members to vote against the modification, giving her leverage to negotiate with the developers on the height and density of their proposed projects.”

Under the current plan, JDS wants to build a 1,008-foot rental at 247 Cherry Street, L+M and CIM seek to build dual 798- and 728-foot towers at 260 South Street, and Starrett is planning a 724-foot building at 259 Clinton Street. Together the buildings will add about 3,000 apartments to the area, 25 percent of which will be set aside as affordable housing.

Attorneys for the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center sent a letter to the Department of City Planning on Friday alleging that DCP’s decision last year to proceed without a ULURP reflects a faulty and illegal interpretation of the city’s zoning resolution, The Lo-Down reports. The attorneys uphold that no new development within the LSRD can happen without new special permits, and those permits cannot be issued without a ULURP.

“This is the place where decisions are actually made about how new development is going to happen in New York City,” said Paua Segal, an attorney at the Urban Justice Center, at Tuesday’s rally. “Last week our clients, who we’re standing with today, sent a letter to the new director to the Department of City Planning asking her to correct her predecessor’s errors and redirect the applications filed for 3,000 units of private luxury development in the middle of a low-income community through the proper process.”

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