200 Amsterdam Has Seen a Major Win — Here’s What ERFA is Doing

Dear ERFA friends and supporters,
In a world where it often seems that justice has slipped away, a bright spot appeared on Monday when a NY State Supreme Court judge granted a major WIN to our sister civic group at 200 Amsterdam and satisfied their quest to stop the installation of yet another unlawful super scraper at that site. Intended to pierce the local skies of the Upper West Side, that developer will now be forced to abide by the local zoning laws and remove a whopping 20 floors from the structure!

 

What’s that mean? Well, for starters, it means that we can all say a happy goodbye to one more looming, towering nightmare over Manhattan.

Catch up on this news here:

The New York Times

NY1

New York Post

Dovetailing that precedent-setting win for the Upper West Side community, our steadfast and true Council Member, Ben Kallos, put the developer of the 430 East 58th Street site on notice in February 17th’s New York Post and announced that based on the 200 Amsterdam outcome, ERFA will even more optimistically continue to seek enforcement of our own, rightful neighborhood re-zoning and, insist that the developer abide by the new residential re-zoning we WON back in November of 2017. Yes. As a reminder, we WON the right to safeguard and protect our neighborhood from out-of-scale development.

As all ERFA community members know, ever since the Board of Standards & Appeals (BSA) “grandfathered” the construction of a megatower at the 430 East 58th Street site, the developer of that property has been proceeding with moxie, apparently trying to complete as much construction as possible while our Article 78 challenge of the BSA’s grandfathering was pending in the courts. Many members of our community have suffered immensely, complaining about work performed at obscene hours, sometimes without appropriate After Hours Variance permits (AHVs) and sometimes without any AHVs at all, and, in many instances, closing the streets, also without any apparent DOT permits. This is a continuation of the gamesmanship they deployed in order to pour their concrete foundation and later demand that the BSA grant them an unwarranted “exception” to the new zoning.

Seemingly, the developer has been counting on the Court’s NOT requiring them to demolish any part of their construction in the event we prevail in our Article 78 case. The 200 Amsterdam decision shows that such an assumption is misguided.

We strongly believe that we should win our Article 78 case on the merits. As we previously informed you, the judge who issued the adverse decision in our case had not read much of the material that our lawyer submitted.

As those who attended the ERFA January 2020 meeting learned, we are mad as hell and are not going to sit by and accept an outcome that belies logic and more importantly, justice.

Next steps that you can expect:

1 – We are filing a Notice of Appeal

2 – We are filing a motion to re-argue our case.

Finally, the work we do at ERFA is not for any one of us, but for all of us. Please help us continue to preserve the character of Sutton Place and ensure that justice is served.

Help us work for you by giving generously. 

Your neighbors will thank you and we at ERFA thank you.

 

Yours in Neighborhood Preservation, The ERFA Leadership Team

Alan Kersh, Jessica Osborn, Eleanor Mascheroni, Lisa Mercurio, Melissa Mittman, Gail Wasserman

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