Application # N170053 ZCM by 1221 Avenue Holdings LLC, for a certification pursuant to ZR Section 37-73 to allow for two open air cafés on the 49th Street frontage of a public plaza located at 1221 Avenue of the Americas.
WHEREAS, 1221 Avenue Holdings LLC (Applicant) is seeking approval for two open air cafes with an aggregate of 1,538 square feet on the 49th Street frontage of a public plaza at 1221 Avenue of the Americas; and
WHEREAS, The building on the property is a 51-story building completed in 1971 with frontages on West 48th Street, Ave. of the Americas, and West 49th Street; and
WHEREAS, The primary use of the building is for office use with restaurant and retail uses located on the ground floor; and
WHEREAS, The property includes a bonused public plaza with a total area of 28,613 square feet; and
WHEREAS, As acknowledged by the applicant, the two outdoor café spaces have been operating, with knowledge of the owner, by two separate restaurants illegally without approval for a period of approximately one year; and
WHEREAS, No members or representatives from either restaurant currently operating the cafes were present to answer questions regarding its operation or use; and
WHEREAS, The applicant was not prepared to answer questions regarding signage, hours of operation, and general operational details regarding the daily setup and breakdown of the café area; and
WHEREAS, The applicable zoning resolution requires findings that include judgements pertaining to desirable use, the promotion of public enjoyment, adverse use and method of operation evaluations to ensure compliance; and
WHEREAS, CB5 could not obtain the required information to properly evaluate the application; and
WHEREAS, The methods of operation could not adequately be conveyed with confidence based on the absence of the restaurant representatives; and
WHEREAS, The applicant has knowingly permitted illegal use of the outdoor public plaza space for a period of at least 12 months, calling into question the capacity of the applicant to operate in good faith; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of Application # N170053 ZCM by 1221 Avenue Holdings LLC, for a certification pursuant to ZR Section 37-73 to allow for two open air cafés on the 49th Street frontage of a public plaza located at 1221 Avenue of the Americas.