Council to Vote on Comprehensive School Planning and Siting Package

Council will also vote on the Speaker’s legislation allowing individuals to change the sex designation on their birth records by self-attestation

City Hall – Today, the New York City Council will vote on a comprehensive school planning and siting legislation package, which would aim to eliminate overcrowding at city schools by increasing transparency about the process. Next, the Council will vote on Speaker Corey Johnson’s bill allowing individuals to self-attest when changing the sex designation on their birth record to conform to their gender identity and allow individuals who don’t identify as exclusively male or female to change the sex designation on their birth certificate to “X”.  The Council will also vote on a number of bills regarding the upcoming L-train shutdown. In addition, the Council will vote on a resolution calling on the federal government to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Finally, the Council will vote on several finance and land use items.

School Planning and Siting Package

Requiring DOE to Post Subdistrict Maps Online

Introduction 449-A, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm, would require the Department of Education (DOE) to post online maps showing the geographic boundaries, known as subdistricts, used by the DOE and the School Construction Authority (SCA) to identify where new capital funding will be targeted for building new schools.

Requiring the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to notify the DOE and the SCA When City-owned or Leased Property of an Adequate Size is Determined to Have No Current Use

Introduction 461-A, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm, would require the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to provide written notice to the DOE and the SCA within 30 days after city-owned or leased property of at least 20,000 square feet is determined to have no current use.

“When enacted, these bills will help drive down school overcrowding and increase the number of seats in classrooms across the five boroughs. Throughout my tenure in the Council, I have worked to improve the process by which the city identifies and develops space for new schools. This legislation will accomplish that by ensuring that city agencies involved in the process share relevant data with each other and with other policy makers in a timely manner. I thank Speaker Johnson and Chair Treyger for prioritizing this crucial effort. The passage of these bills represents a great victory for our public school families,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm.

Requiring DOE to Post Information Regarding the Process Used in Determining Identified Seat Need

Introduction 729-A, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would require the DOE to post online the process, data and criteria used by the DOE and the SCA to calculate the number of seats needed to be built to meet future enrollment needs.

“We need more school seats. With elementary schools at 106% capacity citywide, I have concerns about how the City is determining how many school seats we need. I’m grateful SCA has partnered with the Council and myself to provide us and the public with needed information so we can work together to solve this problem and end overcrowding in our schools,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.

 Creation of a School Siting Task Force

Introduction 757-A, sponsored by Council Member Vanessa Gibson, would require the Mayor to create an interagency task force on school siting to identify potential city-owned properties for school siting and identify vacant lots that may be good candidates for school siting.

“I am proud to join Speaker Johnson and my Colleagues in passing today’s comprehensive package of legislation, including Int. 757-A, aimed at siting new schools in our City. As the population grows and there is a greater demand for school seats, our legislation recognizes the need to create an inter-agency task force to include the School Construction Authority, the Department of Education, the City Council and the Mayor’s Office to collaborate on ways to identify potential school sites and opportunities to expand our network to address school overcrowding. I am grateful for the support of my Colleagues, Education Chair Mark Treyger and school advocates for their commitment and partnership to address overcrowding and create more schools in the City of New York,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.

Calling on the NYS Legislature to Give NYC the Authority to Utilize Design-Build

Resolution 286, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie Torres, calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation that would give New York City, and any public authorities or public benefit corporations operating within the City, including the School Construction Authority, broad authority to utilize the design-build delivery method for capital projects.

“In order to more effectively and expeditiously improve our City’s public infrastructure- particularly public housing, schools and transportation system- the State should authorize design-build that would streamline processes and cut red tape,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

Calling on the SCA to more clearly communicate to the general public how city residents can submit potential school sites and the guidelines used in considering whether a suggested school site meets the evaluation standards used

Resolution 289, sponsored by Council Member Paul Vallone, would call on the SCA to more clearly communicate to the general public how city residents can submit potential school sites and the guidelines used by the SCA in considering whether a suggested school site meets the authority’s evaluation standards.

“Improving transparency and communication with the public in our school site selection process is always a positive. Nobody knows a community better than those who live there, and increasing their involvement is critical in improving the process as a whole,” said Council Member Paul Vallone.

Amending Sex Designation on Birth Records and the Issuance of Birth Records

Introduction 954-A, sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson, would allow individuals to self-attest when changing the sex designation on their birth record to conform to their gender identity. The bill would also allow individuals who don’t identify as exclusively male or female to change the sex designation on their birth certificate to “X”.

“Introduction 954-A will make New York birth certificates more inclusive for all and will send a powerful signal to the world that New York City government works for everyone, and now more than ever, it’s important for us as elected officials to show our constituents that we see them, we have their backs and we respect them for who they are. That starts today with voting on this bill, and I thank all my colleagues for their support,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

 Requiring the Department of Correction to Report on the Rate of Emergency Lock-ins

Introduction 447-A, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm, would require the Department of Correction (DOC) to post quarterly and yearly reports on departmental, facility and housing area lockdowns. Such reports include information on average duration of lockdowns, the average number of individuals affected by such lockdowns, mandated services either cancelled or delayed due to a lockdown and the reason for lockdowns.

“By shedding light on how lock-ins are conducted, my legislation will bring further transparency to our city’s jail complex. Unscheduled lock-ins have a negative impact on incarcerated individuals and visitors alike. Gathering information is a critical first step to addressing the problem. The data that will be collected as a result of my legislation will be very helpful to city officials as well as to the advocates closely monitoring the unfolding reforms in our jails. I am most grateful to Speaker Johnson and Chair Powers for supporting this important effort which will have a transformative impact on our criminal justice system,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm.

Resolution 513, sponsored by Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Carlos Menchaca, calls upon the U.S. Congress to pass and the President to sign the Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act (H.R. 6361), legislation that would abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Under this President, ICE has dropped even the pretense of targeting individuals who have committed serious felonies — instead opaquely choosing its enforcement targets and in effect terrorizing entire communities. In New York City and across our country, ICE agents have posed as police officers, threatening the critical public safety link between local police and immigrant communities. It has targeted immigration enforcement against political activists. It has wrongly detained hundreds and hundreds of American citizens, some of whom have spent years in detention due to ICE’s negligence. My resolution supports federal legislation that would create a more humane immigration enforcement system. It does not mean open borders, nor does it mean an end to all immigration enforcement. By passing this resolution, the New York City Council can stand up for our immigrant neighbors and, just as importantly, stand up for the principle of confronting injustice no matter what,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

“We must abolish ICE. For too long, this rogue agency has terrorized immigrant communities, including immigrant communities in our own city. It has torn our families apart, injected fear into our neighborhoods, and breached the trust that is critical for residents to have in their government. Justice – and the safety and trust of our communities – demand an end to this rogue agency. This resolution, which I am proud to support as Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Immigration, is critical because it not only signifies our commitment to dismantling ICE, but it is also the opportunity for us to chart the course towards a more humane immigration system, one that would bring justice and dignity to all,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.

L-Train Shutdown Package

Designating community information centers in the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn during the course of the 2019 Canarsie Tunnel reconstruction

Introduction 989-A, sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, would require the Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to designate at least one community information center in each of the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn during the 2019 Canarsie Tunnel Reconstruction (also known as the L-train shutdown). These community information centers would provide resources and information to members of the public regarding reconstruction.

Establishing an Ombuds within the Department of Transportation

Introduction 990-A, sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, would require the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to designate an ombuds to receive and investigate complaints and comments in connection with the Canarsie Tunnel closure starting in 2019 (also known as the L-train shutdown).

“Just about every New Yorker is aware by now that the L train will be shutting down in April 2019 for no less than 15 months. Understandably, New Yorkers on both sides of the East River are getting more and more anxious about what some are calling the L-pocalypse. I understand their concerns and I share them. I ride the subway all the time, and frequently ride the L. It runs through my district. It runs cross-town, so even people who don’t live along it often use it. Its closure is going to be a huge loss for the system. There will be significant disruption to straphangers and to residents. That is my primary concern – mitigating the pain for these subway and bus riders, pedestrians, cyclists and neighborhood residents. The Council is proud to vote on these bills as the first step toward relief for L-train riders,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

“In advance of the Canarsie Tunnel reconstruction project beginning in April 2019, the City is taking the lead to provide relief to more than 200,000 weekday riders that cross from Brooklyn to Manhattan and vice versa on the L-Train. The two bills introduced by Speaker Corey Johnson and myself and one resolution that we approved today at the Transportation Committee meeting will provide residents, commuters and businesses with necessary resources during the closure. A commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New York City by supplying an all-electric bus fleet during the L-Train shutdown will help our environmental goals and protect the respiratory health of New Yorkers along the bus route. We have to ensure that New Yorkers are able to have efficient and safe travel alternatives during this 15 month project,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.

Calling on the Governor and the MTA to Provide Alternative Service During the L-Train Shutdown

Resolution 377, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Espinal, would call upon the Governor and the Metropolitan Transit Authority to commit to an expeditious transition to an electric bus fleet and to use electric buses as a robust part of the replacement service during the L-train shutdown.

“Our poor air quality is already having serious health implications for thousands of New Yorkers. By replacing a subway with standard issue MTA buses, we will be adding to the amount of harmful gas that already choke us and our planet. The additional 200 diesel buses that are going to be added to our streets will release as much pollution as 4,400 cars per day. This can’t be the standard for how we move forward. This resolution sends a clear message that our innovative City will use transit obstacles like the L train shutdown as transit opportunities,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal.

The City Council will also vote on the following finance item(s)…

 The Council will vote on Article XI Property Tax Exemptions at the following locations:

501 West 143rd Street in Manhattan, in Council Member Mark Levine’s district.

The purpose of this exemption is to preserve the 37 existing units of low income affordable housing which are slated at 120% of Area Median Income (AMI).

Morningside Apartments in Manhattan, in Council Member Mark Levine’s district.

The purpose of this exemption is to preserve 49 units of existing affordable, low-income housing which are set at 50% of Area Median Income (AMI).

9 Argyle Road in Brooklyn, in Council Member Mathieu Eugene’s district.

The purpose of this exemption is to preserve the 12 existing units of low-income affordable housing which are set at 120% of Area Median Income (AMI).

The City Council will also vote on the following land use items:

1601 Dekalb Avenye, Brooklyn

The Council will vote to approve with modifications an application for a rezoning from M1-1 to R7A to facilitate a residential development at 1601 Dekalb Avenue in Bushwick in Council Member Rafael Espinal’s district. During Council review, the project was changed from a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing project under Option 1 to a 100% affordable under the Housing Preservation Development’s Extremely Low and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) Term Sheet. The Council’s modifications to zone certain sites R6A will also protect adjacent loft residential tenants from displacement, and by retaining manufacturing zoning on Wyckoff Avenue, existing businesses and future economic development opportunities will be preserved.

55-63 Summit Street Rezoning, Brooklyn.

The Council will vote on an application submitted by Rothkrug, Rothkrug & Spector LLP  for rezoning from M1-1 to R6B to facilitate residential development at 55-61 Summit Street. This rezoning would facilitate the development of a five-story, mixed-use residential and community facility with 14 residential units, including 5-6 affordable units. The proposed rezoning is in Council Member Brad Lander’s district.

5 Bement Avenue L.U. NO. 195, Staten Island.

The Council will vote on an application by Pelton Place, LLC to allow for a one-story commercial development at the corner of Bement Avenue and Richmond Terrace . The applicant has agreed to the modifications proposed by the Community Board and the recommendations made by the Council Member to improve the site. The proposed re-zoning is in Council Member Deborah Rose’s district.  

Firehouse- Engine Cos. 264 & 328/ Ladder Co. 134 Landmarking, Queens.

The Council will vote on an application by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the firehouse at 16-15 Central Avenue as a New York City Landmark. The Firehouse was built in 1910 to serve the people of Far Rockaway and is also an excellent example of early 20th century Renaissance Revival architecture. The Firehouse is located in Council Member Donovan Richards’s district.  

53rd (Now 101st Street) Precinct Police Station, Queens.

The Council will vote on an application by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the Police Station at 16-12 Mott Avenue as a New York City Landmark.  The Police Station was built in 1929 and is a stunning example of Renaissance Revival and Colonial Revival architecture. The Police Station is located in Council Member Donovan Richards Jr’s district.

 NYPD Bomb Squad Headquarters Relocation, Manhattan.

The Council will vote on an application by the New York City Police Department and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to approve the acquisition of a privately-owned property located at 241 West 26th Street to be used as the headquarters of the NYPD Bomb Squad. The site is located in Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s district.

Third-Party Transfer In Rem Actions No. 56 Queens, No. 53, Brooklyn and No. 52, Bronx

The Council will be voting to approve six applications for tax exemptions for properties subject to final judgements of in rem foreclosure entered in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The applications include Article XI tax exemptions for unimproved properties and Urban Development Action Area Project approval and tax exemptions pursuant to Article XI of the Private Housing Finance Law and Section 696 of the General Municipal Law for improved properties. These actions will facilitate the transfer, development and preservation of the properties pursuant to the Third-Party Transfer Program.

The affected properties are in Council Members Donovan Richards, Jimmy Van Bramer, Antonio Reynoso, Laurie Cumbo, Robert Cornegy, Rafael Espinal, Mathieu Eugene, Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Inez Barron, Fernando Cabrera, Vanessa Gibson, Rafael Salamanca, Diana Ayala and Ritchie Torres’s districts.

Triple HDFC, HPO, FY19 Manhattan.

The Council will vote on an application submitted by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for an Article X1 tax exemption to facilitate the preservation of three 100% affordable buildings, totaling 68 units. The properties are in Council Member Diana Ayala’s district.

Nueva Era Apartments, Manhattan.

The Council will vote on an application submitted by New York City Housing Preservation Development for an Article X1 tax exemption to facilitate the preservation of a 100% affordable building with 34 units. The properties are in Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez’s district.                                            

Deshler Apartments, Manhattan

The Council will vote on an application submitted by New York City Housing Preservation Development for an Article X1 tax exemption to facilitate the preservation of two 100% affordable buildings, totaling 60 units. The properties are in Council Member Bill Perkin’s district.

 

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