Category: News


Special Town Hall — Sept 19th @ 8 a.m.

By Team ERFA,

ERFA is holding a special Town Hall on Tuesday, September 19th at 8 a.m. @ Morso, 420 East 59th Street

Join us on Tuesday next week to hear an update on our community rezoning application. Please note the date of this meeting as it falls on a Tuesday, not our regular day of the week for meetings.

We have invited our four co-applicant elected officials and their representatives to join us.

Discussions with the Department of City Planning have continued since our last Town Hall.  Come hear the results of those negotiations. ERFA is committed to transparency with its community around the process and status of our application to rezone and protect this community.

 

Helpful links to view and monitor Department of Buildings information on the East 58th Street Site

By Team ERFA,

For those most affected by the construction on East 58th Street, don’t be silent.  Make your voice heard if you have concerns about public safety or construction violations.

We don’t encourage spurious complaints, but you don’t need to be an expert on the legalities if you have a  concern. Contact DOB and they have to investigate if it is a legitimate complaint.  The only way they can investigate is if you file your concerns officially. And, our elected officials can’t follow up and act on your behalf if they don’t know that you have complaints.

Don’t complain to each other, complain to the Department of Buildings when you see something you suspect is a violation, or you see is a public safety hazard.  Or, if crews are working after hours without a permit.  The link to the After Hours Variance permits is here and below.

The developer is permitted to work M-F, 7 am-6pm. Crews are allowed to be onsite to get ready to work before 7, but are not permitted to start work until 7.  On weekends, if they have an after-hours variance permit, they are allowed to work from 9 am-5 pm.

If you are able to take pictures which illustrate your complaint, please submit them along with the complaint and/or send them to us with date/time information.

 

For the main DOB page about the work site, including Permits, Violations, Complaints, click here:

To see After Hours Variance Permits and Status, click here

To see information about Cranes on the site: click here

To see Complaints and Status, click here

 

To file a complaint

Use this information:  420 East 58th Street, Manhattan

Options:

  • Call 311, file your complaint, ask for and write down the complaint number, send complaint and number to ERFA at info@ERFA.nyc
  • Use 311 online click here; forward your receipt to info@ERFA.nyc
  • Write directly to Rick D. Chandler, P.E., Commissioner of the Department of Buildings, at RChandler@buildings.nyc.gov; cc info@ERFA.nyc on your email 

    ERFA urges you to do your part.  Make your voice heard if you have legitimate complaints, especially if they concern personal safely, the safety of your building, or if work is being performed after hours without a permit.

If you send us your complaint and reference number, we will forward your information as soon as we get it to both Ben Kallos’ office and Gale Brewer’s office so that they may monitor them.

Don’t rely on your neighbor to report unsafe or after hours conditions. It’s up to you too. 

Community Board Six Unanimously Approves Resolution in Support of ERFA’s Proposed Zoning Change

By Team ERFA,

Friends and Neighbors –
I’m pleased to share with you the news that at a public meeting on Tuesday evening, the full board of Community Board Six voted unanimously to approve a resolution in support of the zoning change proposed by ERFA and its co applicants. As a significant procedural milestone in a formal public review process, the resolution is expected to be presented in the form of CB6 comments to the City Planning Commission early next month.
Co-applicants Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Councilmember Daniel Garodnick, Councilmember Ben Kallos, and State Senator Liz Krueger all hailed the decision as a victory for the community at large. The Borough President is also expected to provide official comments in support early next month.

 

As you all know, we have been working with the Department of City Planning for almost two years in order to get this far. Now we are more energized than ever. We hope to move this initiative to completion with a ‘yes’ vote from the City Planning Commission and then final approval from the full City Council – and we hope to have your continued enthusiasm and support for this final leg of our work together to prevent out-of-scale development in this community.

 

To read the full press release, click here.

The individual and collective voices of ERFA supporters have been critical to our success so far and will become even more important as we move forward together.Watch your emails and the ERFA website for plans on what is next, as well as a notice for the next Town Hall!

Alan Kersh
President

Update from ERFA President, Alan Kersh

By Team ERFA,

Dear Friends,

I’m pleased to share this important and good news with you.

ERFA’s application to the City of New York for a zoning change to prevent the construction of supertall residential towers in the East River Fifties area and encourage community diversity has been officially certified by the City Planning Commission.

As we’ve been discussing in these more than 18 months leading up to certification, this step clears the way for a formal public review similar to the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), and is a significant procedural milestone in the application by ERFA and its co-applicants: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Councilmember Daniel Garodnick, Councilmember Ben Kallos, and State Senator Liz Krueger.

To read the press release announcing this milestone, click here.

Certification by the Commission allows the proposal to enter a months-long review and decision process involving Community Board 6, the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. Approvals by the City Planning Commission and City Council are necessary for the rezoning to take effect.

This is a major milestone, but this fight is not over. We must continue to show our growing base of support and community solidarity every step along the way.

And, we are still in a race. To give us the best chance of success, it is important for ERFA’s constituency to continue to demonstrate support for our rezoning proposal during the public review process.

Here are a few ways: show up, be vocal, and make a financial contribution.

We will alert you to opportunities, such as those advertised for this week, where you can learn about what’s next, show your support of the effort, and connect to others who care about this issue:

Thank you for your support of this effort. We need it now more than ever. Please consider supporting this effort now in the way that works best for you.

I look forward to keeping you up-to-date as we work our way through the City process.

Read the press release — and all of our other official documents and releases — by visiting our media page.

Sincerely,

Alan Kersh

 

ERFA Newsline: Report from February 10th Town Hall

By Team ERFA,

Dear ERFA friends,

For those of you who were unable to attend the East River Fifties Alliance’s Town Hall meeting on February 10th I’m pleased to share a summary of the meeting.

Our coalition is showing endurance, strength, support and keen interest in this cause — evidenced by a standing-room-only crowd, civic support, and our roster of speakers.

More than 150 constituents from all over the city and residents of our community were joined by representatives of Community Board 6 and ERFA’s allied civic groups – Friends of Upper East Side Historic Districts, CIVITAS, and the Municipal Art Society and Turtle Bay – who attended the meeting in support of ERFA’s goal. The event was covered by both TV and print media.

There were six speakers: Two representatives of ERFA’s board spoke, and all four of the elected officials who are co-applicants on ERFA’s rezoning proposal – State Senator Liz Krueger, Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer, and City Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos – also spoke. The speakers reported on the progress of ERFA’s proposal to rezone our neighborhood to include contextual zoning and affordable housing.

In brief:

  • ERFA’s application has reached the stage where it is ready for “certification” by the Department of City Planning (DCP). Certification is an official acknowledgment by DCP that the application is complete, and thus commences the formal review process that can take several months and, if successful, will culminate in approval of the proposed zoning change by the City Planning Commission and City Council.
  • The new owner of the 58th Street site, Gamma Real Estate, headed by N. Richard Kalikow, has filed an application with the City to build an 850-foot tower rising to 67 stories. BUT, the City rejected Gamma’s application because it is incomplete. Gamma’s rush to file – accompanied by a press release announcing their plans – was clearly intended to discourage ERFA’s rezoning effort.
  • As Gamma works to complete what, in reality, is a very complex application, ERFA remains undeterred and fully committed to advancing its rezoning effort. The most immediate necessary next step is for the Department of City Planning to certify ERFA’s rezoning application, so that it can move through the remaining steps of the City’s review process.
  • To view portions of the Town Hall meeting, click here.

 

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer praised ERFA for blazing a trail not just for this community, but for other parts of the city. And, along with City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos and State Senator Liz Krueger, she stressed that “letters really count.” They emphasized the importance of continuing the public letter writing campaign as a powerful way to convince government officials of how seriously the community takes this issue and that we want ERFA’s rezoning application to be certified by the DCP without delay.

I am pleased to report that ERFA’s supporters have already written more than 1,000 letters to the Mayor and the Chair of the City Planning Commission urging them to approve ERFA’s rezoning proposal.

To do your part to advance our shared goal: Please follow the Borough President’s advice and send letters of support to the Mayor and the Chair of the City Planning Commission. (Marisa Lago will become CPC Chair beginning March 1st, replacing Carl Weisbrod, but letters can be sent to her now.) You can send letters to the Mayor and Ms. Lago by going to ERFA’s website, www.ERFA.nyc and, via the website, sending the form letters which are provided there.

Another way to help is to coordinate the signing and collection of letters in your building. We will drop off an appropriate supply, collect them when they’re ready, and then mail them for you to City Planning and the Mayor. Write to info@erfa.nyc  for more information.

Every letter counts.

And, last but not least – ERFA is in a race against time and needs continuing financial support for its rezoning effort, which still involves work by lobbying and other professionals as well as letter-writing by the community.

If you have already donated to ERFA, I thank you and hope you’ll consider another contribution. If you haven’t, now is your time to join your neighbors and friends to help win this campaign.

Donations of any amount are helpful — $50, $100, $250 or more – to support the next stage of work. Donations can be made by clicking on the red Donate button below, via ERFA’s website, or by writing a check payable to the East River Fifties Alliance and mailing it to ERFA, Attn: Donna Chin, 205 East 42nd Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10017.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Alan Kersh, President

Photo Credit:  Ed Lederman