Fulfilling her promise to the community, CM Chin introduces legislation that fast tracks certain land use applications, including an imminent text amendment that would subject Two Bridges proposals to real public review

NEW YORK – Today, Councilwoman Margaret Chin introduced legislation that would put an effort to halt three proposed mega-developments on the fast track to approval.

The legislation, Intro 1685, calls on the Department of City Planning to consider certain land use applications, including a planned Text Amendment that would subject three out-of-context luxury towers in Two Bridges to a full public review process, in a more timely manner.

“I am proud to announce the beginning of a new legislative effort to fight back and stop these monstrous towers from irreparably destroying the character of the Two Bridges neighborhood,” said Councilwoman Chin. “To be clear, our fight to save Two Bridges was not deterred last year, even when the Department of City Planning rejected my demand to subject these proposals to ULURP. The tools I announced today are critical to fulfilling the commitment I have made to residents to stop these proposed mega towers, and give them a real opportunity to shape the future of their neighborhood.”

Today’s legislation is part of an ongoing effort to force the three proposed developments to undergo full public review through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process.

The bill introduced at today’s City Council Stated Meeting would ensure the timely approval of a planned Text Amendment that would force a ULURP, which would include a City Council vote — a demand that Councilwoman Chin and Borough President Brewer first made in a letter to City Planning a year ago this month.

“These planned mega towers in the Two Bridges neighborhood should be subject to a full land-use review, as we’ve argued from the beginning,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m proud to join Councilmember Chin in pushing both this text amendment and legislation clearing a path for similar text amendments to be considered without unnecessary delays.”

“Two Bridges residents deserve a community planning process that serves their needs and centers their voices. We applaud this step on the part of the Councilwoman to move closer to such a process,” said Melanie Wang, Chinatown Tenants Union Organizer at CAAAV.

“The Two Bridges community will continue to use every strategy to keep out-of-scale mega towers out of their neighborhood, and we are thrilled the Councilmember is keeping her promise to the residents of Two Bridges and doing the same,” said Jessie Ngok, Land Use Organizer at GOLES.

“As counsel to the resident and community organizations, we are thrilled that the Council Member is trying every strategy to stop this out of scale development,” said Paula Segal, an attorney with the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center.

“Now more than ever, we need to use every tool at our disposal to achieve a transparent public review process that will allow Two Bridges residents to provide real input on the future of their community,” said Trever Holland, President of the Two Bridges Towers Tenant Association. “Thanks to Council Member Chin for introducing these two efforts and working to deliver the promise she’s made. Our community will continue to work to ensure our demands are heard.”

“We believe the legislation being proposed by Councilmember Chin today is vital to empowering our local representatives and will allow them to be more responsive to the needs of the communities they serve,” said Marc Richardson, Vice President of the Lands End One Tenant Association. “Speaking for TUFF-LES and as a resident of the Two Bridges waterfront community, while we will continue to review the substance of the proposed City Council Intro, we are encouraged by the Councilmember’s stated objectives with respect to this legislation. We fully support any effort to bring greater transparency and empowerment to affected communities when land use actions are proposed.”

In August 2016, City Planning rejected Chin and Brewer’s ULURP request, and instead chose a far less transparent and thorough process to approve the proposed developments.

At a July press conference in front of a senior building at 80 Rutgers Slip in the path of the proposed development, Councilwoman Chin made a promise to her constituents to do everything in her power to stop these towers from destroying the character of this waterfront community.

This month, Councilwoman Chin threw her full support behind an effort by community advocates at CAAAV, UJC, and GOLES to sue City Planning in the event that it ruled against the wishes of the Two Bridges neighborhood.

 

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