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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

Application #070086 ZSM for a Special Permit, pursuant to §§13-562 and 74-52, to establish a 70 car public parking garage (plus 10 reservoir spaces) in a residential building at 800 Avenue of the Americas, between 27th and 28th Streets.

WHEREAS, In 2004 Central Parking Systems (“Central”), one of the largest operators of parking facilities in America, commenced the operation of a garage (“the Facility”) at a newly constructed residential building at 800 Avenue of the Americas (“the Building”) as a 57 car accessory parking garage for the residents of the Building; and

WHEREAS, Central started using the Facility for transient parking as well as for accessory parking and increased the parking spaces by adding stackers to 70 cars (plus 10 reservoir spaces); and

WHEREAS, At the time the use of the Facility was changed, Central contacted the staff of the Department of City Planning (“DCP”) to legalize the transient use through a special permit, which the staff was receptive to but, among other things, expressed concerns about the width of the Facility ramp; and

WHEREAS, After considering the matter for over a year, DCP staff decided it was advisable to attempt to legalize the Facility since there were no clear design standards for garages and the interior layout of the Facility had been redesigned in a manner acceptable to DCP; and

WHEREAS, In Central’s Environmental Assessment Statement, the use of the Facility as a public garage at 70 spaces (plus 10 reservoir spaces) does not cause environmental problems or a significant traffic impact; and

WHEREAS, Although a small portion of the Facility’s ramp is less than 17 feet, the Facility has been operated in a safe manner for the past three years, and during peak hours the Facility has four parking attendants employed; and

WHEREAS, A public garage at this location is beneficial to the area and the public in that it accommodates occupants of the Building, tenants in surrounding buildings in this developing residential area, and provides needed public parking for the major retail area immediately north of the Building; and

WHEREAS, If the Special Permit is granted Central will have to renew it and the Board would then be able to review the safety operations of the Facility and whether any violations were issued; and

WHEREAS, Although in the past the Board has rejected attempts to legalize violations, primarily relating to certain landmark requirements, the Board believes that with regard to the operation of pubic garages it would be better to legalize the use, and the Board would strongly urge DCP to adopt clear design standards for garages; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the application by Central Parking Systems for a Special Permit, pursuant to §§13-562 and 74-52, to establish a 70 car parking garage (with 10 reservoir spaces) at 800 Avenue of the Americas.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 33 in favor, 0 opposed, 3 abstentions.  

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