ENB - Region 2 Notices 11/20/2013
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has received a Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) application from Exclusive Realty Services, Inc. for a site known as Queens Medallion Leasing, site ID #C241144. This site is located in Long Island City, within the County of Queens, and is located at 21-03 44th Avenue 11101. Comments regarding this application must be submitted no later than December 20, 2013. Information regarding the site, the application, and how to submit comments can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/60058.html or send comments to: Jonathan Greco, NYS DEC - Division of Environmental Remediation, Remedial Bureau B, 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-7016, Phone: (518) 402-9694, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Revised Negative Declaration
Kings County (Brooklyn) - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed 77 Commercial Street will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. This Revised Negative Declaration has been issued to reflect the applicant's minor revisions to the proposal, as identified in the Revised Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) issued for the proposed project on November 6, 2013, which supersedes the EAS issued on August 2, 2013. The Revised EAS considers the potential for significant adverse environmental impacts resulting from an increase in the number of proposed low-income affordable housing units (with incomes at or below 80 percent of area median income) from 72 to 200. The analysis has also been revised to include additional information regarding repairs to be made to the bulkhead within the affected area to facilitate development of the waterfront esplanade, potential construction of sewer outfalls, and to update the language regarding the (E) designation for hazardous materials. The revisions to the proposal resulted in updates to the following impact categories: Community Facilities, Natural Resources, Water and Sewer Infrastructure, Hazardous Materials, Open Space and the Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) section of the Land Use, Zoning and Public Policy category. The revised analysis resulted in a commitment by the applicant to enter into a Restrictive Declaration against the affected property that would provide for funding of up to 11 day care slots (if needed to offset the potential incremental increase in demand for child care generated by project should additional funding be obtained to provide for an increase in the number of affordable housing units to be provided as part of the project). The revised analysis concludes that the proposed revisions would not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts for the proposed project.
Waterview at Greenpoint, LLC (applicant) is seeking approval of a special permit, a zoning text amendment and authorizations, as well as other actions (proposed actions) by the New York City Planning Commission (NYCPC) to facilitate the proposed redevelopment of the property located at 77 Commercial Street (development site) in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn Community District 1, New York. The development site is adjacent to a parcel owned by the City of New York located at 65 Commercial Street (City-owned property and, collectively with the development site, the project area). The project area, also referred to as Parcels 3 and 4 within the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Access Plan (WAP) BK-1, is located on an irregular-shaped block bounded by Manhattan Avenue to the east, Commercial Street to the southeast, the prolongation of Eagle Street to the south, and Newtown Creek to the northwest.
The proposed actions are:
- A special permit pursuant to Section 62-836 (Bulk modifications on waterfront blocks) of the New York City Zoning Resolution (ZR) to waive requirements regarding maximum base and building heights and minimum setbacks;
- An authorization (Location Authorization) pursuant to ZR Section 62-822(a) (Authorization to modify requirements for location, area and minimum dimensions of waterfront public access areas and visual corridors) to waive requirements regarding the location of visual corridors and upland connections and to permit the levels of visual corridors and waterfront yards to be raised;
- An authorization (Design Authorization and, collectively, with the Location Authorization, the Authorizations) pursuant to ZR Section 62-822(b) (Authorization to modify requirements within waterfront public access areas) to allow modifications to permitted obstruction requirements for visual corridors and waterfront public access areas and to permit minor variations in the design of waterfront public access areas;
- With the New York City Department of City Planning as co-applicant, an amendment (Text Amendment) to the text of ZR Section 11-13 (Public Parks) and ZR Section 62-351 (Special floor area regulations) to provide that the City-owned property will continue to generate floor area even after it is developed as a "public park" as defined in ZR Section 12-10; and
The grant of the Special Permit, the Authorizations and the Text Amendment are discretionary land-use actions subject to City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR). In addition, the applicant is seeking the grant of a Certification, described below, which is a ministerial action not subject to environmental review.
- A certification (Certification) pursuant to ZR Section 62-811 (Waterfront public access areas and visual corridors) that except with respect to the waivers granted pursuant to the Authorizations, the design of the proposed waterfront public access areas would comply with the applicable requirements set forth in ZR Sections 62-50, 62-60 and 62-931
The proposed actions would facilitate a proposal by the applicant to construct a mixed-used development comprised of up to approximately 693,320 gross square feet of residential uses, comprising 720 dwelling units, 200 of which are affordable, (low, moderate and middle income households meeting the Inclusionary Housing program requirements), approximately 25,750 gross square feet of ground floor commercial uses, 6,200 gross square feet of community facility uses, and 46,730 gross square feet of attended, off-street accessory parking (320 spaces), for a total new development of up to approximately 760,650 gross square feet.
The development site is currently occupied by an existing 2 story warehouse building, which would be demolished prior to construction of the proposed development. The City-owned property is currently leased to the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) and used for vehicle storage and offices for its Office of Emergency Response and for vehicle maintenance and storage.
The development site and City-owned property were rezoned to R6 in 2005 under the Greenpoint Williamsburg Rezoning, which also mapped a C2-4 commercial overlay within 150 feet of Commercial Street. Under special rules for this area, the R6 district mapped on the sites permits residential uses to an FAR of 2.43, which is bonusable to 2.75 under the Inclusionary Housing program. Community facility uses are permitted to an FAR of 4.8 if no residences are present on the zoning lot, but are limited to residential FARs if residences are present. Commercial uses are permitted to an FAR of 2.0 within the C2-4 overlays and to a limited extent elsewhere as well. In connection with the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg Rezoning (CEQR No. 04DCP003K), the City executed a memorandum of Points of Agreement (POA) in which the New York City stated its intention to relocate the existing NYCTA facilities from the City-owned property and to redevelop the site as a publicly accessible open space (public park). The POA also stated the City's intention to sell excess development rights from the City-owned parcel to an adjacent property owner and to require that the purchaser of the development rights provide 200 affordable housing units as part of the future development of its property. The City and the applicant have executed a contract of sale pursuant to which the applicant would acquire the development rights from the City-owned property for use in the proposed development on the development site. The City would use the proceeds from the sale of the development rights as partial funding for the construction of the publicly accessible open space on the City-owned property. The anticipated build year for the proposed project is 2016.
In addition to the proposed actions, an improvement that would eliminate the potential for significant adverse impacts related to community facilities are proposed by the applicant, also referred to as project components related to the environment (PCRE). The improvement concerns the provision of child care for children from eligible households. In accordance with the terms of a Restrictive Declaration to be recorded against the project site, the applicant (or its successors) would provide funding would provide funding for up to 11 slots in publicly-funded child care facilities in the event that the proposed project if needed to offset the potential incremental increase in demand for child care generated by project.
To avoid the potential for significant adverse impacts related to hazardous materials, air quality and noise, (E) designation (E-318) has been incorporated into the proposed project as described below. This new (E) designation supersedes an (E) designation (E-138) previously assigned to the development site pursuant to the prior Greenpoint Williamsburg rezoning (CEQR No. 04DCP003K).
Contact: Robert Dobruskin, New York City Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street, Room 4E, New York, NY 10007, Phone: (212) 720-3423, E-mail: email@example.com.
Notice of Acceptance of Draft GEIS
New York County (Manhattan) - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has accepted a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Rockefeller University New River Building and Fitness Center. Advance notice will be given of the time and place of the hearing. Written comments on the Draft GEIS are requested and would be received and considered by the Lead Agency until the 10th calendar day following the close of the public hearing. The Draft GEIS is available from the contact listed below and on line at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/env_review/eis.shtml.
The action involves a proposal by the applicant, Rockefeller University, for a modification to an existing large scale community facility development (LSCFD) plan, a New York City Map amendment and a special permit from the New York City Planning Commission (NYCPC), as well as other discretionary approvals. The proposed actions would facilitate a proposal by the applicant to construct: three new community facility buildings comprising a total of approximately 180,000 gross square feet; an approximately 930 foot long, five foot tall traffic sound barrier; and privately accessible open space (proposed project). More specifically, the proposed project would include development of a proposed new privately accessible landscaped area (North Terrace), a new two story, approximately 157,251 gross square feet laboratory building with two one story pavilions and privately accessible landscaped green space on the laboratory building roof (all of which are supported by a 930 linear foot elevated platform structure situated in air space above the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Drive); a one story, approximately 3,353 gross square foot conference and meeting pavilion (Interactive Conference Center or ICC) located on the North Terrace (at the north end of the proposed platform structure); a new 20,498 gross square foot one story fitness center; and an approximately 930 foot long, five foot tall sound barrier along the eastern edge of the FDR Drive. The proposed project is expected to be completed by 2019.
The proposed project would require the following discretionary actions, which are subject to City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) and the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP):
- A special permit for construction in air space over the FDR Drive (as part of the special permit, the actions would also include a rear yard waiver) pursuant to Section 74-682 of the New York City Zoning Resolution (ZR) (subject to ULURP);
- An amendment to the City Map pursuant to the New York City Charter to eliminate, discontinue, and close portions of the FDR Drive right-of-way and the disposition of real property related thereto, to allow for the placement of columns and footings in the East River Esplanade and on the west side of the FDR Drive associated with the construction of the proposed laboratory building (subject to ULURP); and
- Modification of Rockefeller University's previously approved LSCFD (C821257 ZAM) (subject to ULURP).
The proposed project would also require approvals pursuant to an agreement between the NYCPC and Rockefeller University (1973 Agreement) for:
- NYCPC approval of building and column locations in and over the FDR Drive and East River Esplanade pursuant to Article 12A of the 1973 Agreement, as amended in 1993 by Article 13 of the Third Amendment to the 1973 Agreement;
- Approval by the New York City Director of City Planning pursuant to Article 12B of the 1973 Agreement of landscaping, security, and lighting plans in accordance with Article 11, a ventilation plan and a noise quality plan, plans for closing the FDR Drive and East River Esplanade in accordance with Article 7, and an environmental impact plan; and
- NYCPC, acting as City Coastal Commission, determination of consistency with Waterfront Revitalization Program.
The proposed project would also require ministerial approvals and permits.
Based on the preliminary screening assessments outlined in the CEQR Technical Manual it was found that the following environmental areas would not require detailed analysis for the proposed project in the EIS: socioeconomic conditions, community facilities, natural resources, water and sewer infrastructure, solid waste and sanitation services, energy, transportation, and greenhouse gas emissions. It was also determined that the proposed project would result in significant adverse impacts related to shadows, historic and cultural resources, construction noise and construction open space. Partial mitigation was identified for the shadows, historic and cultural resources and construction open space impacts, as noted below.
The proposed laboratory building and North Terrace would cast between approximately three and five and a half hours of new shadows on portions of the East River Esplanade adjacent to the project site in the afternoons in the spring, summer, and fall, and 33 minutes on the winter analysis day. These new shadows would eliminate the remaining areas of direct sunlight on the esplanade adjacent to the project site for between 50 minutes in the early spring and fall and up to two hours and 40 minutes on the summer solstice. Therefore, the proposed project would cause significant adverse shadow impacts in those seasons to users of the open space seeking direct sun. As partial mitigation for the shadow impact to the East River Esplanade, Rockefeller University - in consultation with New York City Department of City Planning (NYS DCP) and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC DPR) - will undertake a substantial upgrade to the portion of the esplanade adjacent to the project site. In addition, an approximately 150 foot area of the esplanade south of the project site would also be substantially upgraded as partial mitigation for the shadow impact. In addition to the esplanade improvements, Rockefeller University will also undertake the repair and rebuilding of the portion of the East River bulkhead adjacent to the project site where deficiencies have been identified in studies undertaken by NYCDPR. The bulkhead repair and rebuilding will serve as partial mitigation for the significant adverse shadows impacts to the portion of the East River Esplanade adjacent to the project site.
A concrete canopy structure and parking area currently located on the proposed Fitness Center Site are contributing elements to the Rockefeller University Historic District which has been determined S/NR- and NYCL-eligible. Therefore, the removal of the canopy structure and parking area that would occur with the construction of the proposed Fitness Center would result in an adverse impact to the historic district. In addition, the proposed laboratory stacks that would be located adjacent to the Flexner Hall Extension and the Hospital would result in a significant impact to historic and cultural resources. Partial mitigation measures for the removal of the canopy structure and parking area include the preparation and implementation of a restoration plan for the Philosopher's Garden, which is located immediately south of the Fitness Center Site. This plan would be developed in consultation with LPC and would be prepared and implemented prior to construction of the fitness center. LPC is in receipt of revised stack drawings indicating that the stacks have been redesigned in terms of their materials and surface articulation to better harmonize with the historic properties. LPC finds these design drawings to be acceptable and partial mitigation for the significant impact. Measures to minimize or partially mitigate these adverse impacts to the Rockefeller University Historic District would be implemented in consultation with LPC and are included in the Restrictive Declaration. In addition, prior to construction of the proposed project, and in consultation with LPC, Rockefeller University would develop and implement a Construction Protection Plan (CPP) for the contributing elements to the historic district.
A significant construction period impact to open space (the portion of the East River Esplanade adjacent to the project site) would result from construction activities associated with the proposed project. As partial mitigation for the significant construction period impact to open space, the applicant would provide a minimum eight-foot-wide pathway through the affected portion of the esplanade. This pathway would always be maintained to allow for pedestrian and bike movement through the East River Esplanade except for the very limited night time closures during specific construction activities requiring the lifting of construction materials over the walkway/bikeway from barges located in the East River to the project site. However, the closure periods would only occur at night, and would not prevent or limit access to the esplanade during the day. Therefore, the construction of the proposed project would have a temporary significant impact on the East River Esplanade during a portion of the construction period.
Rockefeller University has committed to implement the mitigation measures described above, and these commitments would be incorporated a the Restrictive Declaration to be recorded at the time of approval of all land-use related actions required to authorize the proposed project's development. Additionally, the Restrictive Declaration would include "Project Components Related to the Environment" (i.e., certain project components which were material to the analysis of the environmental impacts in this EIS) which would be substantially consistent with the EIS. Between the Draft and Final EIS, the applicant will consider whether there are additional mitigation measures that would be feasible and practicable to implement to alleviate the identified significant adverse impacts.
Although Rockefeller University is committed to implementing a program of source controls and path controls that exceed the noise control measures required by the New York City Noise Control Code, even with these measures, elevated noise levels resulting from construction are predicted to occur for an extended duration at two sensitive receptor locations: the portion of the East River Esplanade between East 63rd Street and demapped East 68th Street, and the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Therefore, the construction noise impact at the East River Esplanade would be an unavoidable significant adverse impact as there are no feasible and practicable measures that could be implemented to fully mitigate the construction noise impact at this receptor location. However, this impact would occur during a limited period of time during project construction and there would be no noise impacts once construction activities are complete. There is no feasible construction approach to the proposed project that would eliminate this unmitigated significant adverse impact. It is possible that new unmitigated impacts related to noise during the construction period may be identified between the Draft and Final EIS.
As per CEQR guidance, alternatives selected for consideration in the EIS are feasible and have the potential to reduce, eliminate, or avoid adverse impacts of a proposed action while meeting some or all of the goals and objectives of the action. Several alternatives for the proposed project were analyzed in detail: A No Action Alternative, which is mandated by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and CEQR, and is intended to provide the lead and involved agencies with an assessment of the expected environmental impacts of no action on their part; two alternatives in which the proposed new buildings would be constructed on different areas of the Rockefeller University campus; and two other alternatives were considered - a Lesser Density Alternative and a No Unmitigated Impact Alternative. The Lesser Density Alternative assumes that a smaller laboratory building would be constructed in air space over the FDR Drive, resulting in either a building that only partially spans over the FDR Drive from East 64th to demapped East 68th Streets or a one story, rather than a two story, laboratory building spanning the FDR Drive. The No Unmitigated Impact Alternative considers a laboratory building that would avoid impacts to shadows, historic and cultural resources, construction noise, and construction-period open space, which are impacts that would occur with the proposed project. The applicant believes that these alternatives would not meet the goals and objectives of the proposed project.
The project is located on a "superblock" bounded by East 62nd Street and the centerline of demapped East 68th Street, between York Avenue and the bulkhead east of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Drive and the East River Esplanade in New York City, New York. The superblock is designated as a Large-Scale Community Facility Development (LSCFD).
Contact: Robert Dobruskin, New York City Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street, Room 4E, New York, NY 10007, Phone: (212) 720-3423, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notice of Acceptance of Final GEIS
Richmond County (Staten Island) - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP), as lead agency, has accepted a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Staten Island Bluebelt Drainage Plans for Mid-Island Watersheds. The Final GEIS is available from the Staten Island Community Board 2 Offices, Staten Island Community Board 3 Offices and NYC DEP Office, 5917 Junction Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11373 and on line at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/environmental_reviews/midisland_bluebelt_drainage_plan.shtml.
The action involves a proposal by NYC DEP to amend the drainage plans for three watersheds within the Mid-Island (South Shore) area of Staten Island. The proposed project covers the Oakwood Beach, New Creek, and South Beach watersheds located in Staten Island Community Boards 2 and 3, New York, an area approximately 5,000 acres in size. Each of these watersheds has surface water features such as streams, ponds and wetlands that would be utilized with the objective of protecting and enhancing these resources through the preservation and improvement of existing streams and wetlands.
The objective of the proposed project is to provide comprehensive stormwater management and address chronic flooding of streets and properties in Mid-Island while preserving and enhancing existing wetlands. Best management practices (BMPs) would be included to provide improved stormwater conveyance, attenuation of stormwater velocities, management and control of stormwater volumes and pollutant removal to reduce flooding of private properties and public streets. In addition, three new proposed outfalls would convey stormwater runoff to Lower Bay. Also, the proposed project includes designs for additional and upgraded sanitary sewers for wastewater conveyance to the Oakwood Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). If approved, the proposed action would commence in fiscal year 2013 / 2014 and would continue through 2043.
Contact: Robert Will, NYC DEP, 5917 Junction Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11373, Phone: (718) 595-3185, E-mail: email@example.com.