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Central Park Sunshine Task Force


At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, May 14, 2015, the following resolution passed with a vote of 31 in favor; 0 opposed; 5 abstaining; 1 present but not entitled to vote:

WHEREAS, The Central Park Sunshine Task Force (CPSTF) of Community Board Five was created to assess the impact and recommend policy changes needed to respond to rapid progress of development of ultra-luxury condo mega-towers along Central Park South; and

WHEREAS, The Central Park Sunshine Task Force has studied the matter and issued a report recommending policy changes; and

WHEREAS, Super tall towers in Midtown have largely been built as-of-right without any public review; and

WHEREAS, The current zoning code has not received a comprehensive update in over 50 years; and

WHEREAS, Current as-of-right development regulations allow adjacent sites to be assembled to permit construction of buildings higher than underlying zoning allows; and

WHEREAS, Seven mega-towers are currently being built along Central Park South corridor; and

WHEREAS, Another five sites are being developed, with another unidentified number of potential soft sites clustered in the same area; and

WHEREAS, New construction technology makes it possible to build mega-tall buildings on relatively small lots; and

WHEREAS, The new mega-towers will cast significantly longer shadows over Central Park than were ever anticipated by the NYC zoning resolution; and

WHEREAS, There is no analysis as to the impact of mega-tall buildings on the infrastructure of New York City, including transportation, sanitation, sewage, storm resilience, parks, emergency services, historic resources; and

WHEREAS, There has been no public input regarding the impact of mega-towers on its surroundings, especially in terms of the quality of public space and access to light and air; and

WHEREAS, Construction safety has been a major issue with an alarmingly high number of accidents and incidents; and

WHEREAS, The NYC Zoning Resolution has not been reviewed or updated in the context of mega-tall buildings; and

WHEREAS, The Central Park Sunshine Task force has identified the following problems:

- Lack of transparency                                          

- Lack of protection to air and light in open space

- Tax loopholes

- Vulnerability of historic resources

- Construction safety; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports the findings of the Central Park Sunshine Task Force Report, and be it further

RESOLVED, In accordance with its core principle of quality of life for all, Community Board Five requests an immediate temporary moratorium on new construction of buildings of 600 feet and higher that are not undergoing public review, especially those with heights sufficient to cast shadows over Central Park, until the impacts of such developments have been thoroughly and transparently reviewed in a public process and the New York City zoning resolution has been adjusted accordingly, and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five urges the Mayor, The Department of City Planning, as well as the NYC City Council to immediately undertake necessary actions to adequately update the Zoning Resolution to address issues raised by our report, and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five urges that construction safety standards be upgraded to enhance safety and accountability, and violations be corrected before any further work is permitted to continue.

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