Trust Admits More Air Rights Potentially Available for Transfer
At last week’s Community Board public hearing on the Hudson River Park air rights transfer plan, the Hudson River Park Trust’s President Madelyn Wils publicly acknowledged for the first time that the state legislation enabling the air rights transfers did in fact create substantially more air rights than originally indicated.
Initially we were told that the legislation only allowed air rights transfers from nine “commercial piers” within the park where development was already allowed; in fact, the legislation creates transferable air rights from all of the more than twenty piers within the park, as GVSHP and others have long contended. Thus instead of approximately 1.6 million square feet of development rights, we now know there are hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of additional potentially transferable rights in the park which the state legislation has created.
This is extremely important information to know, and indicates how much work we have to do in order to ensure that the State’s air rights legislation does not lead to gross overdevelopment of our neighborhood and waterfront. While the Trust has indicated that they have “no intention” to use air rights from outside of the commercial piers, such verbal assurances are not enough. As long as the recently-enacted State legislation allows such transfers to take place, the possibility will always remain.
Therefore GVSHP has been joined by more than a dozen west side community groups in calling upon elected officials and the Trust to take measures to ensure that air rights from parts of the park which were never intended to have air rights are extinguished and can never be used. We are also calling for them to put in place other safeguards and pursue alternatives that would help ensure that air rights transfers never lead to overdevelopment of our waterfront see - our joint letter here and see GVSHP’s handout from the recent hearing here.
City and State officials are beginning to look at ways to enable the transfer of air rights from the park. IT IS THEREFORE CRITICAL THAT THEY HEAR FROM YOU NOW ABOUT THE NEED TO PUT THESE SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE TO PREVENT OVERDEVELOPMENT OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
HOW TO HELP:
Preventing overdevelopment of our neighborhood and waterfront as a result of these air rights allowances will take an enormous amount of work. I hope we can count on your to join us in the fight!