Last week we mentioned that Community Board 3’s health and human services committee was set to hear a proposal for a “safe haven” facility at the Blue Moon Hotel on Orchard Street. That meeting did take place (virtually) on Thursday evening and officials from the NYC Department of Homeless Services were there, but the operator cancelled at the last minute. So while board members and community stakeholders discussed the issue for more than an hour, they did so with few specifics about what the operator, a nonprofit called Not on My Watch, has planned at 100 Orchard St.
A second meeting will be scheduled for early next month, when the founder and CEO of Not on My Watch, Dr. Que English, is expected to be in attendance.
According to city officials, the Lower East Side site will house stabilization beds temporarily. The Department of Homeless Services has stepped up its use of stabilization beds in hotels during the past few months to accommodate homeless individuals unwilling to enter the shelter system. Then the plan is to convert the hotel to a safe haven facility, another alternative to the shelter system which offers various supportive services to people transitioning from homelessness.
Community Board 3 has long supported more safe haven beds on the Lower East Side. You can read about that in the board’s latest District Needs Statement. At the meeting, speakers questioned whether the hotel, situated in what was described as a heavily congested nightlife zone, was the right location for a safe haven facility. Others questioned why the community wasn’t notified in advance about the decision to open a safe haven on Orchard Street. Elected officials and CB3 were told just before the Christmas holiday. The original plan had been to open the facility shortly after the new year.
The city reps acknowledged that Not on My Watch has no prior experience running a safe haven facility. According to its website, the organization is:
…a survivor-led 501(C)3 organization, NOMW’s mission is to combat human trafficking and domestic violence through education and training, community and policy advocacy, providing resources and housing for victims and survivors, and shelter for the homeless. Their newest initiative, HigHPointe, will provide shelter for the homeless, and long-term transitional and permanent housing with comprehensive, culturally-relevant wraparound services for victims and survivors.
The New York Post reported that an unnamed “group of landlords, residents and a restaurant” filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court to block the facility. According to the story, the city agreed to hold off on moving anyone into the building until February 9.
The Blue Moon Hotel has been up for sale for most of the past decade. The refurbished and expanded tenement building includes 22 rooms. The city officials indicated the safe haven facility could house up to 70 individuals.
You can watch the community board’s discussion of the safe haven issue on the video below beginning at 55:00.
Do you have questions or concerns about the city’s Open Restaurants/Open Streets program, or do you just want to have a better understanding of the rules and procedures for outdoor dining applications? Next week, January 12, community boards 3 and 6 are hosting a joint virtual Town Hall Meeting. It will be held at 6 p.m. and representatives from city agencies will be on hand to provide information and listen to community feedback. If you would like to submit questions, please click here. And here’s the Zoom meeting link.
If you’d like to tune into any of Community Board 3’s upcoming virtual meetings, here’s what’s coming up in November.
–On Wednesday, November 4, the economic development committee will be taking up a couple of issues important to small businesses prepping for a potentially rough COVID-19 winter. There will be a briefing from the Department of Buildings on outside heating requirements and also discussion of a grant program to help businesses winterize outdoor spaces.
–On Tuesday, November 10, the transportation committee will be going over a proposal for a cargo bike corral on East Houston Street. A pitch to another community board to carve out space for a similar corral on the west side did not go particularly well. Also, the Department of Transportation will outline a proposal for a protected bike lane on Avenue C.
–On Thursday, November 12 the parks committee will be updated on several big projects, including the long-delayed East Side Coastal Resiliency and Pier 42 initiatives. Dock NYC will also be addressing ongoing concerns about public access at Pier 36.
–And on Tuesday, November 17, the land use committee will hear from the Department of City Planning regarding on a citywide zoning text amendment, “Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency.”
Full details and agendas on CB3’s website. And if you’d like to watch past CB3 meetings, you can visit the community board’s YouTube channel.
Here’s a look at some of the topics Community Board 3 will be digging into next month.
–On Thursday, Oct. 15, members of the the parks. recreation waterfront and resiliency committee will be talking about ridership on NYC Ferry. In the spring, the city eliminated the Lower East Side route from the Corlears Hook landing, but continued to offer service via the South Brooklyn route. At the same meeting the LES Ecology Center will ask for support for the relocation of its East River Park compost yard.
–On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the transportation committee will hear from Revel about the resumption of its electric scooter service in the city, including safety precautions.
–On Tuesday Oct. 20, at CB3’s land use committee the developers of two new residential towers on Grand Street will detail their application for land use changes to facilitate the project. You can read more about the 100% affordable towers, part of the Grand Street Guild complex, here.
These days, you can watch community board meetings from the comfort of your home, via Zoom. More meetings info on CB3’s website.
January 2020 flew by. To start a new month, let’s tale a look at what’s coming up at Community Board 3 in February.
–On Wednesday, Feb. 5, CB3’s economic development committee will meet to “finalize” a Special Enhanced Commercial District Proposal that’s been in the works for years. it is meant to bolster neighborhood retail, especially endangered independent businesses.
–On Thursday, Feb. 6, the human services committee will hear a presentation from the Alliance for Positive Change, which is seeking to move to 35 East Broadway and to establish a syringe disposal kiosk.
–On Monday, Feb. 10, the advisory committee that oversees liquor permits will hear numerous applications, including a request to add recorded background music on the rooftop of Hotel 50 Bowery. The committee will also meet to review applications on Feb. 12.
–On Feb. 10, the Landmarks Committee will hear an informational presentation from the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative regarding a request to the State Historic Preservation Office to consider the East River Park Track House & Tennis Comfort Station for listing on the State and National Historic Registries.
–On Thursday, Feb. 13, the parks committee will discuss “mitigations” for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, which will result in the phased closure of East River park beginning in the spring. Also at this meeting, staff from the city’s Economic Development Corp. will talk about needed repairs to the deck at Pier 42 and “interim recreational amenities” in the public space that may one day become a full-fledged coastal park.
–On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the land use committee will hear a presentation regarding the city’s draft fair housing plan. There will be an update from the office of State Sen. Brian Kavanagh on the impact of last year’s rent reforms on cooperatives. And there will be a report from the Two Bridges rezoning co-applicants.
–On Monday, Feb. 24, the NYCHA subcommittee will discuss the HUD budget and the NYCHA waste management department will present on “planned future upgrades to equipment and future initiatives.”
We’re shifting into holiday mode, but soon 2020 will be here and it will be time to turn our attention back to Community Board 3. Here are some highlights from CB3’s January agendas.
–On Jan. 16. the parks committee will resume discussions about the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. The Department of Design and Construction will preview the timeline and other details for the phased closure of East River Park and construction of the $1.45 billion resiliency project. Construction is expected to begin in the spring.
–On Jan. 8, the economic development committee will meet to “finalize” a proposal for a “special enhanced commercial district,” which would cover the area from 2nd Avenue and 1st Avenue; Avenues A, B, C, D; East 14th Streetl East 13th Street; and East Houston Street.
–On Jan. 9, the human services/education committee will continue discussions about possibly requesting an extension to the deadline for building a public school at Essex Crossing.
–Om Jan. 14, the transportation committee will consider an application for an intercity bus company to operate from the curbside at Canal and Orchard streets. It would be the third bus operator with an approved permit in this spot. There will also be a presentation from the NYC Half Marathon about plans for local street closures when the race flows through the Lower East Side again next year.
Most of us are still in holiday mode, but beginning next week Community Board 3 will be back to work. Here’s a look at what’s happening at CB3 in December.
–On Tuesday, Dec. 10 officials from the Department of Transportation will provide an update on continuing efforts to alleviate the traffic bottleneck at Clinton and Grand streets. The transportation committee will also consider an intercity bus application for 59 Canal St. (at Orchard Street).
–On Thursday, Dec. 5, members of the human services/education committee will discuss the MTA’s controversial plan to place 500 additional law enforcement officers in New York City train stations. The panel will also talk about a request to extend the deadline to build a new public school on Grand Street. A site that’s part of the Essex Crossing project is being reserved until the year 2022, but funds have not been allocated to build the school.
–On Wednesday, Dec. 11 at CB3’s land use committee meeting, the nonprofit group, Cooper Square Committee, will present findings from its study on the impacts of the 2008 rezoning of the Lower East Side.
–On Thursday, Dec. 12 the parks committee will review final plans for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. There will be discussion about a plan to move Department of Sanitation truck parking from East 10th Street to Pier 42. And there will be updates on plans for the Baruch Bathhouse.
Rendering of East River Park at Delancey Street as envisioned by city planners.
Here’s a look at what’s coming up at Community Board 3 in October.
–The City Planning Commission last week signed off on resiliency plans at East River Park, in spite of significant community opposition (the City Council weighs in next). On Thursday, Oct. 10, CB3’s parks committee will continue to discuss various aspects of the flood protection schemes along the East River. They’ll go over the draft final design, and receive an update about resiliency plans below Montgomery Street in the Two Bridges area.
–On Wednesday, Oct. 2, the economic development committee will hear the LES Partnership’s latest ideas for reactivating a portion of Orchard Street (which is closed to automobile traffic on Sundays).
–On Oct. 3, the human services committee will review a “Certificate of Need” for Mt. Sinai’s new behavioral health center at Rivington House.
–On Monday, Oct. 7, city officials will outline proposed zoning changes to accommodate large-scale development plans on the former site of Beth Hamedrash Hagafol, the fire ravaged Norfolk Street synagogue.
You’re probably thinking about barbecues and those last trips to the beach as we head into Labor Day weekend. But after the holiday, it will be a busy month for Community Board 3. Here are some of the highlights from CB3’s recently released meeting agendas.
–On Thursday, Sept. 5 the health and human services committee will consider “certificate of need” applications for Mount Sinai’s new scaled-down hospital replacing Beth Israel and the conversion of the former Rivington House facility into a behavioral health center. At the same meeting, the Alliance for Positive Change, which provides services for New Yorkers with HIV, will discuss its plans to relocate to 35 East Broadway.
–On Tuesday, Sept. 10, the transportation committee will consider applications from two companies for new intercity bus stops on Pike Street near East Broadway.
–On Thursday, Sept. 12, the parks committee will hear the city’s plans to improve the pick-up/drop-off area in front of Basketball City at Pier 36. There will also be presentations on the city’s controversial resiliency plans along the East River. And a group looking to complete a least a portion of the neglected Allen/Pike Street pedestrian malls will make their initial pitch to the board.
–On Sept. 25, there will be a meeting of the Baruch Bathhouse Task Force.
For more details, have a look at the full agenda here.
Rendering of latest East River coastal resiliency scheme.
Before we head off for the Fourth of July holiday, here’s a look at what’s happening at Community Board 3 in July. There’s a full slate of meetings planned before the board takes a summer break in August.
–In the past month, CB3 approved with conditions the land use (ULURP) application for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Plan, which is meant to protect Lower East Side communities from the impacts of climate change. On Thursday, July 11, the city’s Department of Design and Construction will be back at the parks/waterfront committee with a preliminary design presentation. You can read CB3’s lengthy ULURP resolution here (item #6) here. And here’s a link to the June presentation from the city. Community groups, under the auspices of the East River Alliance, continue to voice strong opposition to the plan.
–At the same meeting, the city’s Economic Development Corp. will present its latest plans for a park at Pier 42.
–On Tuesday, July 16 the Community Healthcare Network will appear before the land use committee to discuss its future on the Lower East Side. The organization must relocate its clinic at 150 Essex St., a building that will be demolished to make way for the final phase of the Essex Crossing mega-project. Community Healthcare Network is looking for a rent abatement from the city (its landlord) in order to lease and build out a new space.
–Also at that land use committee meeting, city agencies will lay out proposed zoning changes on the Lower East Side. They’re seeking a minor modification of the Seward Park Extension Large Scale Residential Development Plan (LSRD). The modification would allow for the separation of “a portion of the Seward Park Extension LSRD” that overlaps with Essex Crossing, creating two distinct LSRDs.
–On Tuesday, July 9 the transportation committee will hear a proposal from the city’s Department of Transportation on the Gateways to Chinatown Project.
–And on Monday, July 15, the State Liquor Authority Committee will review various applications for new or modified liquor permits.
Here’s a look at some of the issues Community Board 3 will be taking up in May.
–On Thursday, May 16 at a meeting of the parks committee, officials from the city’s Economic Development Corp. will update progress at Pier 42, which is very slowly becoming a new recreational area. They’ll also detail the latest plans for the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project, which covers the area along the East River below Montgomery Street. And the EDC will present a conceptual design for the Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade. Finally, the East River Alliance, a group opposed to the mayor’s plan to “bury” East River Park, will present some of its top concerns.
–On Wednesday 8, the Lower East Side Partnership will go before the economic development committee to discuss its latest proposal to expand the LES Business Improvement District. There will also be an update on plans to create a special zoning district in the East Village to protect independent businesses.
–On Thursday, May 9, there will be an update from the State Attorney General’s Office on the Rivington House Settlement agreement. As you probably recall, the Allure Group is required to hand over $1.25 millions to several local nonprofit organizations.
–On Monday, May 13, the liquor licensing committee will hear several proposals, including one to extend the hours of the resurrected Epstein’s Bar on Stanton Street. The committee will also meet on May 20, taking up the issue of a full liquor license for Hwa Yuan on East Broadway, among other applications.
–On Tuesday, May 14, the city’s Department of Transportation will update ongoing efforts to address the traffic bottleneck in the area around Clinton and Grand streets. At the monthly meeting of CB3’s transportation committee, DOT will also discuss its unpopular plan to institute SBS service, eliminating numerous stops on the 14 A and D bus lines. Also the city’s Office of Nightlife and the LES Partnership will update their plans to change traffic regulations to improve “quality of life” in the Lower East Side’s nightlife cesspool.
For full agendas, meeting locations and times, visit CB3’s website.
Rivington House, 2/5/2019. Photo courtesy of Neighbors to Save Rivington House.
Here was the scene at the former Rivington House nursing home the other day: water pouring out of the building. As you might recall, Mount Sinai Health System signed a letter of intent to take over the scandal-plagued property. While locals wait for the huge healthcare conglomerate to convert the building at 45 Rivington Street into a behavioral health center, a related Rivington House discussion will occur during a meeting of Community Board 3’s health, seniors and human services committee.
That tops our look at CB3’s February meeting agendas.
At the meeting, six nonprofit organizations will explain how they intend to use $1.25 million allocated for “healthcare services,” as part of the state attorney general’s settlement with former Rivington House owner the Allure Group. There’s a memo on CB3’s website detailing the programs envisioned by the nonprofit groups.
Other topics of note this month:
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the transportation committee will hear details from New York Road Runners about the upcoming NYC Half, which will flow through the Lower East Side Sunday, March 17.
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, the owners of the Rivington Street bar, The Magician, will go over plans to expand into an adjacent space.
On Thursday, Feb. 14, the parks committee will continue discussions about the revised plans for flood protection along the East River. The city’s new proposal has met with strong opposition from the Lower East Side community.
And on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the land use committee will continue talks about the mayor’s controversial plan to build a new jail in Chinatown. There will also be an update on plans to rezone the Two Bridges neighborhood.
To see full agendas, including meeting locations and times, click here.
If you’re interested in joining your local community board, now is the time. The Manhattan Borough President just opened applications.
The all-volunteer advisory boards consist of 50 members who serve two year terms. The borough president selects community board representatives, who must live, work or go to school in the community. Local City Council members help choose half of the appointees.
Community Board 3 covers the Lower East Side, East Village and Chinatown. If you’re thinking about applying, it’s highly advisable to attend at least one board meeting. CB3 meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. at P.S. 20, 166 Essex St. Board members serve on at least one committee. You can have a look at CB3’s committees here.
Rendering from recent presentation on revised plan for the East River waterfront.
It’s a new year, but some very familiar issues dominate Community Board 3’s January 2019 meeting agendas. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.
–On Thursday, Jan. 10 there will be an update on the revised plans for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. If you missed one of the public meetings held last month, this is your chance to learn about the new vision for the long-delayed revamp of East River Park. You can have a look at the presentation used at the December meetings here. At the same meeting, city officials will talk about plans to complete the Pier 35 eco-park (the recreational area was partially opened last month).
–On Tuesday, Jan. 8, CB3’s transportation committee will resume discussions about the L Train shutdown, which is scheduled to take place April 27. Reps from the Department of Transportation will also review plans to create new bike lanes on Catherine Street and Market Street.
UPDATE: The focus of this meeting will change dramatically after the Governor’s decision to cancel the full l Train shutdown.
–On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the land use committee will hear an update from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice on its revised plans to build a new city jail in Chinatown. The city backed off of a scheme to construct the facility at 80 Centre St., but a new proposal to put up a 50-story tower at 125 White St. isn’t going over any better. The committee will also hear a presentation from community groups hoping to rezone the Two Bridges neighborhood, and it will consider an inclusionary housing proposal for a 16-story tower at 167-171 Chrystie St.
For more meeting details, check out CB3’s full agendas here.
Here’s what’s coming up at Community Board 3 in the month ahead.
–At CB3’s transportation committee meeting Nov. 13, the city’s Department of Transportation will outline plans for expansion of the Citi Bike network. Several months ago, the mayor’s office announced that about 1200 bikes would be added as part of the L Train shutdown plan. There’s expected to be a concentration of bikes near the Williamsburg Bridge.
–On Nov. 1, the human services committee will hear a plea to stop the displacement of the Community Healthcare Network’s Catherine Abate Center at 150 Essex St. The center has a lease until 2021, but the site is slated to become the last piece of the big Essex Crossing project (luxury condos are planned here).
–On Nov. 8, community groups pushing for a rezoning of the Two Bridges area (under siege from developers with grandiose plans) will update their progress before the land use committee.
–On Nov. 15, the parks/waterfront committee will discuss the community impacts from the city’s decision to take over more of Pier 36 for garbage truck parking.
You can check out full agendas, including meeting locations and times, here.