Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Shearith Israel Postponed -- Again

Preservation Push-Back Against Condo Plan: Public Meeting on Congregation Shearith Israel Proposal Held Off Until September

Back in June -- nearly 3 months after submitting its application to develop a luxury condo building/community house at 8 West 70th Street to the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) -- Congregation Shearith Israel seemed suddenly eager to get on Community Board 7's (CB7's) summertime calendar. A public meeting scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, June 20, was postponed at the last minute when LANDMARK WEST! directed CB7's attention to a June 15 letter from BSA itemizing 48 (48!) objections to Shearith Israel's application, leading to the inevitable conclusion that the application was incomplete.

Shearith Israel has made no discernable progress towards revising their application (BSA's letter requested a complete submission within 60 days, which translates to August 15...the clock is ticking). So, when the item appeared again on Wednesday, July 18 agenda of CB7's Land Use Committee, community members were quick to respond, reiterate our concerns about Shearith Israel's failure to submit a complete application and, again, succeed in getting a postponement -- this time until September at the earliest, dashing any hopes Shearith Israel may have held out for a quiet July or August vote. Click here to read a letter from Mark Lebow, the attorney representing community interests, to CB7 including a copy of BSA's 48 as-yet-unaddressed objections plus a memo by architectural consultant Simon Bertrang raising additional issues on the legitimacy of the application.

What goes down must come up...we'll alert you when (not if) Shearith Israel's plans finally come to the surface! Please stay tuned.

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