Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shearith Israel's Application Incomplete: Public Meeting Postponed

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Community Board 7 has postponed its public meeting on Congregation Shearith Israel's application to develop 5 stories of luxury condos on top of a new community house at 8 West 70th Street. The meeting had been scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, June 20. According to an email circulated by CB7 late this afternoon, it will be rescheduled "when their application is complete."

When it's complete? Hasn't Shearith Israel taken months, if not years, to craft this proposal, which would require 8 variances from the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA)? Surely by now, at the very least, their application is "complete." Not so fast, suggests a letter that BSA issued to Shearith Israel on Friday, June 15, itemizing 48 (48!) objections to the materials submitted back in April 2007. (LANDMARK WEST! obtained a copy of this objection letter on Friday afternoon and brought it immediately to CB7's attention, resulting in today's postponement.) Clearly, BSA is tuned into the magnitude this planned condo development--and the fact that New Yorkers all over the city have their eye on the issue of nonprofit institutions playing real estate games.

Stay tuned for details about future public meetings on this issue. In the meantime, for background information and to learn more about why this matters so much to our neighborhood - YOUR neighborhood - please visit www.protectwest70.org and www.landmarkwest.org.

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