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ENB - Region 2 Notices 5/18/2016

Negative Declaration

Bronx County (Bronx) - The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD), as lead agency, has determined that the proposed 111 East 172nd Street will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The action involves a proposal by the project sponsor, Community Access, for construction financing from NYC HPD to facilitate the development of a new affordable and supportive housing building in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx, Community District 4. The proposed project would be developed through NYC HPD's Supportive Housing Loan Program (SHLP). The project site is privately owned and located at 111 East 172nd Street in the Bronx, New York. The site is irregular in shape and measures approximately 20,505 square feet in area. With the requested funding, the project site would be developed with a new, 14 story, approximately 116,801 gross square foot residential building containing 125 units of affordable and supportive housing (plus one unit reserved for a building superintendent for a total of 126 units) as well as approximately 11,841 square feet of outdoor recreational space. The proposed project is anticipated to be completed and occupied by 2018. The project site is adjacent to (but not within) the State/National Register - listed Grand Concourse Historic District. The proposed project is therefore considered a Type I action under CEQR/SEQRA. In order to preclude construction-related impacts to nearby historic resources within this district, the project sponsor would be responsible for implementing a Construction Protection Plan (CPP) during all excavation and construction activities. The CPP was be developed in consultation with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYC LPC) and prepared in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the New York City Department of Buildings Technical Policy Procedure Notice #10/88. The CPP was prepared by Ecosystems Strategies, Inc., submitted to NYC LPC and subsequently approved on April 14, 2016. Compliance with the approved CPP will be required through the Regulatory Agreement between NYC HPD and the project sponsor. The project is located at 111 East 172nd Street in the Bronx, New York.

Contact: Aaron Werner, NYC HPD, 100 Gold Street, Room 7A-4, New York, NY 10038, Phone: (212) 863-5953, E-mail: wernera@hpd.nyc.gov.


Revised Negative Declaration

New York County (Manhattan) - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Water Street Upgrades Text Amendment will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. This revised Negative Declaration reflects modifications to the proposed zoning text under consideration by the New York City Planning Commission. These modifications consist of: 1) Clarifying edits to the language and wording throughout the proposal; 2) Addition of a community board referral for certifications; 3) Clarification that permitted residential uses on the ground floor are limited to lobbies; 4) Clarification of the periodic compliance reporting requirement for plazas; 5) Clarification of the signage requirements for indoor public spaces; 6) Expansion of the requirement for multiple establishments for the longest frontage of infill to apply to all arcades; 7) Removal of Use Group 5A (hotel rooms) from the uses permitted within arcade infill.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC), the Alliance for Downtown New York (ADNY), and the New York City Department of City (NYC DCP) propose a zoning text amendment to Section 91-80 (Public Access Areas) and Appendix A of the Special Lower Manhattan District, Section 37-625 (Design changes), and Section 37-73 (Kiosks and Open Air Cafes) of the New York City Zoning Resolution. The proposed action would facilitate the infill of existing arcades for retail use and the improvement of existing plazas by New York City Planning Commission (NYCPC) certification and authorization in the Water Street commercial corridor in Community District 1, Manhattan. The directly affected area is comprised of portions of 13 blocks located in C6-9, C5-3, C5-5, and C6-4 zoning districts within the Special Lower Manhattan District ((SLMD)..) The directly affected area contains two designated New York City historic districts that are also listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places - the Fraunces Tavern Block Historic District and the Stone Street Historic District. The directly affected area is also contiguous to the State and National Register listed Wall Street Historic District and the New York City designated South Street Seaport Historic District.

The proposed text amendment would allow the elimination and infill of existing arcades for retail use and the improvement of existing plazas by NYCPC Chairperson certification and NYCPC authorization. The proposed zoning text amendment would also allow public events and programs and the placement of publicly-accessible tables and chairs within plazas and arcades on an as-of-right basis, and would continue to allow cafes within arcades by CPC Chairperson certification. All Chairperson certification applications will be submitted to and reviewed by the affected Community Board for a maximum period of 45 days. The CPC Chairperson shall not issue a certification for the application during the Community Board review period, unless the Community Board has submitted to the CPC Chairperson comments regarding such proposal or informed the Chairperson that the Community Board has no comments (91-836(c)).

Additionally, the Special Lower Manhattan District would be modified to eliminate the existing, "Public Space Activation Area," and, "Arcades Modification Area," to create a single, simplified, "Water Street Subdistrict." The provisions of the proposed zoning text amendment would apply to this area; an area generally bounded by Pearl Street and South William Street to the west, Fulton Street to the north, South Street to the east, and Whitehall Street to the south. This "Project Area" includes the following 20 parcels in Manhattan: (Block 4, Lot 7501); (Block 5, Lot 7501); ( Block 5, Lot 10); (Block 30, Lot 19); (Block 32, Lot 7501); (Block 33, Lot 1); (Block 35, Lot 1); (Block 33, Lot 11); (Block 31, Lot 7501); (Block 38, Lot 1); (Block, 37, Lot 8); (Block 70, Lot 43); (Block 70, Lot 32); (Block 75, Lot 1); (Block 71, Lot 7501); (Block 29, Lot 1); (Block 35, Lot 10); (Block 31, Lot 1); (Block 38, Lot 17); and (Block 37, Lot 23). The purpose of the text amendment is to improve the street's pedestrian experience, provide useful services and amenities for nearby residents and employees, and to improve the quality of the public spaces.

In order to achieve the goals of the text amendment specific actions of the text amendment include:

  • Creation of the Water Street Subdistrict: Map 8 of the Special Lower Manhattan District would be modified to eliminate the existing, "Public Space Activation Area," and, "Arcades Modification Area," to create a single, simplified, "Water Street Subdistrict." The provisions of Section 91-80 would apply to this new area.
  • Events and Publicly Accessible Tables & Chairs (Sections 91-81 and 91-82) Events that are open to the public would be permitted as-of-right within any plaza or arcade, subject to requirements relating to storage, pedestrian access, and operations (new Section 91-81). Publicly-accessible tables and chairs, shade umbrellas, and heat lamps will be allowed as-of-right pursuant to new Section 91-82; new Section 91-822 would set forth basic standards for seating, circulation, and storage.
  • Cafes within Existing Arcades (Section 91-821) The provisions for a NYCPC Chairperson certification to allow an outdoor café within an existing arcade (existing Section 91-81) would generally remain (as new Section 9-821), although the zoning text and provisions will be revised for clarity.
  • Retail Infill of Arcades; Certification (Section 91-83), Authorization (Section 91-841), and Text Map (Map 9) The proposed zoning text will allow arcade infill by NYCPC Chairperson certification (new Section 91-83) and CPC authorization (new Section 91-841). As part of the proposed zoning text amendment, a new text map (Map 9) will be added to Appendix A of the Special Lower Manhattan District that will delineate which portions of the Water Street arcades may infill by certification (Area A), those that may infill by authorization (Area B), and those that would not be permitted to infill by either certification or authorization (Area C). The new building area within the arcade would be exempt from the definition of floor area, and the zoning text would state that the elimination and addition of building area within the arcade and would not reduce the amount of permitted floor area on the zoning lot. The certification applications would be subject to a 45 day Community Board review period.
  • Ground Floor Use and Design Requirements (Section 91-831) As part of a certification or authorization for arcade infill, the use and design requirements would need to be met. Infill that would be permitted by the zoning text amendment would extend for the full length, depth, and height of an arcade except where there is an existing parking or loading entrance. The uses permitted within an arcade infill would be those uses permitted by Section 91-12 for designated retail streets within the Special Lower Manhattan District. Residential and hotel uses as part of the arcade infill will be limited to lobbies (Use Groups 2B and 5B). Hotel rooms (Use Group 5A) will not be permitted within the arcade infill. At least 70 percent of the surface area of the ground floor level street wall, between a height above grade of two feet and 14 feet or the height of the ground floor ceiling will be glazed with transparent materials.
  • Compensating Amenity (Sections 91-832, 91-833, 91-834, and 91-835) An upgrade to all existing plazas or urban plazas on a zoning lot would be required as a compensating amenity for arcade infill permitted by certification or authorization. Alternatively, a permanent amenity other than improvements of an existing publicly accessible open space or the provision of an indoor public space may be available as explained in Section 91-835 and is identified as Alternative Improvements. Also, public space signage will be provided at each point of pedestrian entry to the indoor public space; signage for through block arcades will also include the name of the street to which the through block connection passes.

Currently, the Project Area contains building frontages set back from sidewalk as well as arcades that are too narrow or too wide and do not serve a useful pedestrian circulation function. Additionally, the Project Area contains a high concentration of plazas that are too large or too narrow, barren, and lack useful amenities.

To determine the effects of the Proposed Action, 20 projected development sites in the Project Area were analyzed. The projected development sites are anticipated to generate 167,357 gross square foot of retail space, approximately 26,967 gross square foot of office space, and approximately 2,016 gross square foot of residential space. Accessory residential use would be limited to lobbies on the ground floor and no new dwelling units are anticipated to be generated. The Proposed Action would likely lead to a reduction of 105,411 square foot of total arcade space. However, although there is a quantitative loss, there would be a qualitative gain as the use and functionality of 190,800 square foot of plaza area would be improved with amenities such as seating and planting and activated with events, cultural programming, and temporary amenities.

Absent the proposed action, the Project Area would conform to the underlying zoning district and existing plaza and arcade regulations. The existing plaza regulations do not permit additional amenities (such as tables and chairs), kiosks, and temporary outdoor structures in public plazas without a Chairperson certification. Arcades must remain free and clear of obstructions, except that outdoor cafes may be permitted by Chairperson certification. Additionally, given the overbuilt nature of the buildings within the Project Area, it is unlikely that any building could fully eliminate and infill an arcade using the existing certification (Section 33-124(a)) or special permit (Section 74-761) mechanisms available in the Zoning Resolution. The No-Action Condition would be identical to the existing conditions pursuant to the underlying zoning regulations. The effects of the proposed action will first be felt in the summer of 2016 with public events and programming allowed within the Project Area. The full effects of the elimination and infill of existing arcades for retail use and improvements to the existing plazas within the Project Area are expected to be realized by 2026.

The project is located in an area generally bounded by Pearl Street and South William Street to the west, Fulton Street to the north, South Street to the east, and Whitehall Street to the south; in Manhattan, New York.

Contact: Robert Dobruskin, New York City Department of City Planning, 120 Broadway, 30th Floor, New York, NY 10271, Phone: (212) 720-3321, E-mail: rdobrus@planning.nyc.gov.


Positive Declaration and Public Scoping

New York County (Manhattan) - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Emergency Ventilation Plant for the Lexington Avenue Subway Line between 33rd Street and 42nd Street may have a significant adverse impact on the environment and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement must be prepared. Written comments on the draft scope will be accepted until July 1, 2016. A public scoping session will be held on June 16, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Beth Israel's Podell Hall, 1 Nathan D. Perlman Place, New York City (between East 15th and East 16th Streets). The online version of the Draft Scoping Document is available at the following publically accessible web site: http://www.mta.info/.

The action involves the construction and operation of a ventilation plant to provide necessary emergency mechanical ventilation to the Lexington Avenue Subway Line tunnels between the 33rd Street/Park Avenue South and Grand Central Terminal/42nd Street stations, which currently have no such protection for life safety. The section of tunnels to be protected by this project is approximately 2,500 feet in length from the north end of the 33rd Street Station platform to the south end of the 42nd Street Station platform. This tunnel segment is ranked #5 out of 252 segments evaluated in a 1994 emergency ventilation plant prioritization study (with 1 being most critical for safety and 252 least critical). A nominal ventilation capacity of 500,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) is necessary for these tunnel sections. The ventilation plant would be constructed under the northbound streetbed of Park Avenue, either between East 36th and East 38th Streets, or between East 37th and East 39th Streets. The ventilation plant would be completely underground with the exception of sidewalk grating to be located on the east sidewalk of Park Avenue. The sidewalk grating would provide fresh air intake or exhaust depending on ventilation requirements. Vent plants typically consist of a large chambers or cavern where several fans are located, with plenums (or ductwork) that connect the fan chamber to the subway tunnels and ambient air. Construction would occur over a period of approximately 4.5 years and require temporary and permanent relocations of utilities located in the streetbed, and temporary decking over the streetbed to minimize traffic impacts. The Proposed Action is needed to create tenable atmospheric conditions for subway riders to escape, and for emergency services to intervene, in the event of emergency conditions such as a fire.

The project is located on Park Avenue between East 36th Street and East 39th Street in Manhattan, New York.

Contact: Emil F. Dul, MTA New York City Transit, 2 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 1004, Phone: (646) 252-2405, E-mail: Emil.Dul@NYCT.com.


Queens County (Queens) - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Reconstruction and Expansion of Jamaica Bus Depot at 165-18 South Road in Jamaica, Queens may have a significant adverse impact on the environment and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement must be prepared. Written comments on the draft scope will be accepted July 8, 2016. A public scoping session will be held on June 15, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Junior High School 8 (IS 8), Richard S. Grossley, 108-35 167th Street, Queens, NY 11433. Copies of the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), Positive Declaration and Notice of Intent to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and Draft Scope of Work to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft Scoping Document) are available at the Queens Community Board 12, 9028 161st Street, Jamaica, NY 11432; the Queens Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11432; the South Jamaica Library, 10841 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11433 and on line at: http://web.mta.info.

The action involves the reconstruction and expansion of the Jamaica Bus Depot (JBD), located at 165-18 South Road in Jamaica, Borough of Queens, New York,, which can be accessed from Merrick Boulevard, 107th Avenue, and South Road. The purpose of the Proposed Project is to provide the necessary operation, maintenance, and on-site storage of up to 300 Standard Bus Equivalents (SBEs), in order to serve the projected bus assignments at this depot; to allow additional capacity due to the density of bus service in this section of the city and the long range outlook for new service demands; and, to accommodate potential route/depot assignment reconfigurations. The need for the Proposed Project results from the antiquated operations and maintenance technology and limited storage space at the existing JBD.

The Proposed Project site includes the existing JBD, which comprises Queens Block 10164 Lots 46, 80, 84, 97, and 103, as well as Lots 41, 53, 60, 61, 63, 66, 68, and 72, which abut the existing facility, and which NYCT has acquired as part of a separate interim measure intended to provide additional on-site bus storage for approximately 50 additional buses in advance of the Proposed Project. The Proposed Project site would also include Lots 74, 76, 79, 89, 90, and 95, resulting in a Project Site of approximately 6.6 acres.

The Proposed Project would include the reconstruction of the JBD facility to include 1-2 new structures, up to approximately 45 feet tall and including a total building area of up to approximately 460,000 square feet. Construction is anticipated to begin 2018 and be complete in 2022.

Contact: Emil F. Dul, MTA New York City Transit, 2 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 1004, Phone: (646) 252-2405, E-mail: Emil.Dul@NYCT.com.


Notice of Acceptance of Draft EIS

New York County (Manhattan) - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has accepted a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed 550 Washington Street/ Special Hudson River Park District. A public hearing on the Draft EIS will be held at a later date to be announced. Advance notice will be given of the time and place of the hearing.

The action involves a proposal by the applicants, the New York City Department of City Planning and SJC 33 Owner 2015 LLC, for a series of discretionary actions that would facilitate the redevelopment of St. John's Terminal Building at 550 Washington Street in Manhattan, New York. The proposed actions include a zoning text amendment to establish the Special Hudson River Park District, a zoning map amendment, zoning special permits, authorizations, and a Chairperson's certification, as well as an action by the Hudson River Park Trust. An approval from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) for the proposed curb cut changes on Route 9A, and an approval from the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) for the proposed widening of the west sidewalk on Washington Street would be required. The proposed actions would facilitate a proposal to develop a mix of uses on the development site, including up to approximately 1,586 residential units (including up to 476 permanently affordable units), retail uses (160-255,000 gross square foot), 229,700 gross square foot or hotel or office space, 41,400 gross square foot of event space, 20,750 square foot of new publicly accessible open space, and 772 accessory parking spaces. The Draft EIS identified significant adverse impacts with respect to Transportation (traffic only; no impacts to transit, pedestrian or parking ), Open Space (indirect impacts only, no direct impacts), and Construction Air Quality and Noise. Mitigation measures have been identified and will further be explored between the Draft EIS and Final EIS. The Draft EIS considered five alternatives: a No Action Alternative, a No Unmitigated Significant Adverse Traffic Impacts Alternative for the proposed project, a No Unmitigated Significant Adverse Traffic Impacts Alternative for the proposed project with big box retail, a no significant adverse open space impact alternative, and a Lesser Density Alternative.

Contact: Robert Dobruskin, New York City Department of City Planning, 120 Broadway, 30th Floor, New York, NY 10271, Phone: (212) 720-3321, E-mail: rdobrus@planning.nyc.gov.


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