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Parks & Public Spaces

New York Gospel Mission, application to hold outreach in Union Square Park

WHEREAS, New York Gospel Mission had submitted applications seeking permission from the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation, in order to conduct three events in the South Plaza of Union Square Park; and

WHEREAS, The proposed gospel outreach events have been scheduled to occur on Tuesday June 10, 2008, Tuesday July 1, 2008 and Tuesday August 12, 2008, from 11:30 AM until 3:30 PM, with set-up time beginning at 10:30 AM and clean-up time to be completed at 4:30 PM; and

WHEREAS, Each of the proposed events is anticipated to be attended by approximately 30 spectators; and

WHEREAS, The events are free of charge to spectators, and there will be no sale of merchandise; and

WHEREAS, The activities of these events will involve preaching and singing, for which there will be some requirement for amplified sound, for which the applicant has applied for permits; and

WHEREAS, The applicant had sought permission to set-up a 5’-0” X 15’-0” tabernacle display; and

WHEREAS, Even though the applicant has previously conducted gospel outreach events in Union Square Park, and in other locations throughout the city, this is the first time that this application has been sent through the community board review process; and

WHEREAS, In our April 28, 2008 Parks Committee meeting scheduled to review these applications, Community Board Five was informed that the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation had already approved all three applications, albeit that the applicant’s wish to set-up the tabernacle had been declined; and

WHEREAS, Although in granting permission to conduct the three events without previous review by Community Board Five, the Department of Parks & Recreation has not followed procedures, Community Board Five is in agreement to decline permission to set-up the tabernacle; and

WHEREAS, We take the process of reviewing all applications to use park space within Community Board Five very seriously; and

WHEREAS, Due to the ongoing construction that is scheduled to occur in the North Plaza, and the relocation of the Greenmarket toward the west and the south, there is a decrease in available park space, as well as fewer days in which special events can be held in the South Plaza of Union Square Park; and

WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five would have preferred that this organization had been granted permission to conduct only one special event in Union Square this year, so that two other time slots would be available for others, the applicant has agreed to conduct the three events with a tightened schedule of 11:30 am to 1:30pm; therefore be it

 RESOLVED, That despite the breach in following the special event application review procedures, Community Board Five is in agreement with the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation’s decision to approve the application by New York Gospel Mission to conduct gospel outreach events in Union Square Park on all three of the proposed dates, June 10th, July 1st, and August 12th and agrees with the Department of Parks denial of the applicant’s request to set-up a tabernacle.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 32 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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