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Consents & Variances

Newsstand application # 41627897, SEC 53rd Street and 5th Avenue

WHEREAS, The applicant seeks a permit to install and operate a newsstand on SEC of 53rd Street and 5th Avenue, and

WHEREAS,  A previous newsstand application was turned down at this location in 1991; and

WHEREAS,  A newsstand at this location would interfere with the visual corridor in the 5th Avenue "Special District" thereby detracting from  the "attractiveness and effectiveness" of the corridor; and

WHEREAS, The Art Commission has previously recognized this as a valid argument along Fifth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The proposed newsstand would be located directly in front of the Rolex store and directly over the Rolex retail vaults; and

WHEREAS, Members of the public representing The Rolex Realty Company were present to oppose the proposed newsstand; and

WHEREAS, Additionally, CB5 has serious concerns about pedestrian safety in this area; and

WHEREAS, Pedestrian traffic is so heavy in this area that the city has installed safety railings to protect pedestrians along many of the blocks of 5th Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The installation of the proposed newsstand would further limit sidewalk space and potentially cause people to walk out into the street; and

WHEREAS, Pedestrians in street traffic create a particularly dangerous situation; and

WHEREAS, For many of the aforementioned reasons, Community Board Five has issued a moratorium on new Street furniture along the 5th Avenue corridor; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of the application to install a newsstand on SEC of 53rd Street and 5th Avenue; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five urges DOT to proceed with the pedestrian counts at this location between (4 PM- 6 PM) on a Friday in December.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 35 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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