December Decision Update

As revealed to all who attended the Town Hall on Thursday, December 13, 2018, ERFA continues to blaze a trail and maintain protections against megatowers and supertalls for our beloved Sutton Place neighborhood.

As many people know, ERFA appeared in front of Judge Debra A. James in New York State Supreme Court on Tuesday, the 11th of December.

The details of our Article 78 case were strongly represented by attorney Michael Hiller and Councilmember Ben Kallos, demonstrating that no developer should be granted a zoning “grandfathering” exception when it has not abided by all aspects of the law. In our case, we know that all aspects of the law were not followed by the developer and, that the Board of Standards & Appeals did not act properly in granting them an exception to proceed. If you wish to read the transcript of our hearing, we will be posting it on ERFA.NYC as soon as it is available.

Finally, in view of the fact that this case is being reviewed by New York State Supreme Court and not a City government agency, we are optimistic that both the strength of our case and, the rule of law shall prevail and therefore, this is our way of wishing you all a very happy holiday season.

WHAT TO EXPECT:  “Build it Right” 
The newly adopted zoning measure (enacted in November 2017) calls for Tower on a Base which is a contextual, neighborhood zoning specification and allows for developers to build, but not in a configuration that exceeds Tower on a Base requirements.

Under those requirements, the lowest 85 feet of a building would not necessarily be shaped differently from the lowest 85 feet of the megatower the developer is trying to construct. Therefore, the restriction that was put in place last October limiting construction to a height of 16 feet has been loosened to allow for construction up to a height of 80 feet.


At that point — when construction is near the 85 foot height at which it would become inconsistent with Tower on a Base zoning– if the judge has not already reached her decision on our Article 78 appeal — she will decide whether the developer should be allowed to do any additional construction while the case is still pending.

Note: The building height is to be calculated as a measurement from the ground up. You can expect continued activity on the site, but it should not exceed the 80 foot height which would trigger review by the judge.

In the true spirit of “if you see something, say something,” please continue to notify 311 of any obvious traffic, construction, safety or unlawful activity that you witness. We are greatly appreciative of the community’s efforts toward those protections.

Have a beautiful, happy, healthy and safe holiday season.
We expect 2019 will be a successful year for The East River Fifties

The ERFA Leadership Committee

P.S. We continue to rely on your generosity, concern and commitment. Please consider making a donation on behalf of the neighborhood you know and love.

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