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Transportation & Environment

Application for a Hotel Loading Zone at the Whitby Hotel, 18 West 56th Street

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, September 12, 2019, the following resolution passed with a vote of 42 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The Applicant, the Whitby Hotel, 18 West 56th Street, a two year old 86-room hotel located west of 5th Avenue on the south side of 56th Street, has requested a hotel loading zone to serve their customers; and

WHEREAS, Such loading zones are standard at the main entrance to larger hotels in New York City, and the Department of Transportation regularly creates such zones in front of hotels larger than 100 rooms; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Transportation requires hotels below 100 rooms in size to come before the Community Board to hear any objections to their loading zone before such a permit is issued; and

WHEREAS, The Whitby Hotel has complied with this requirement, and at the CB5 Transportation & Environment Committee meeting at which this application was discussed, neighbors testified their support for the application and no opposition to the loading zone was heard; and

WHEREAS, The applicant requested a loading zone measuring 55 feet in length, to allow for both a single vehicle to drop off and pick up passengers at the main entrance of the hotel and a delivery truck at its service entrance; and

WHEREAS, The Whitby Hotel management testified that in addition to the hotel guests that there are also clients who use their restaurant, three meeting rooms, 130-seat movie theater, and conference space for a daily average of 650 guests entering the hotel; and

WHEREAS, The current parking regulations in front of the Whitby Hotel are for 3-hour Commercial parking Monday to Friday, 7am-6pm and 6-hour metered parking Monday to Friday, 6pm-12am and Saturdays 8am-12am; and

WHEREAS, The Whitby Hotel is located more than 200 feet from East 56th Street, which currently is closed from 5th Avenue to Madison Avenue due to Trump Tower security precautions; and

WHEREAS, This security situation has created both an even higher demand for available commercial
parking in the immediate area and a back up in vehicle traffic on the first block of West 56th Street
because all vehicles must turn onto 5th Avenue while waiting for pedestrians crossing the avenue; and

WHEREAS, There is no reason why this loading zone would obstruct traffic, either vehicular or
pedestrian, and in fact it will likely reduce the potential for double-parked standing vehicles; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five believes that a sign indicating DOT’s Hotel Loading Zone
regulations in front of the Whitby Hotel would be more effective than No Standing regulations for
mitigating double-parking and would likely assist the hotel in proper management of the loading zone
space; and

WHEREAS, DOT will normally permit a one-vehicle length loading zone of 30 feet in front of a 100-
room hotel, a two-vehicle length loading zone to a 300-room hotel, and only use No Standing regulations
in front of a hotel less than 100-rooms; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five does not have enough data to comfortably decide that a 55-foot
loading zone is an appropriate length for this block; and

WHEREAS, Such loading zones should be approved only on a case-by-case basis, and no precedent with
regard to these zones should be presumed in response to this application; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application by the Whitby Hotel at
18 West 56th Street for a hotel loading zone, with the conditions that:

  1. DOT post a Hotel Loading Zone parking regulations sign in front of 18 West 56th Street as DOT does with 100-room or greater hotels, and
  2. DOT must determine an appropriate length of a Hotel Loading Zone at 18 West 56th Street given the competing demands for commercial parking, curbside access, and traffic flow.

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