Write Gov. Cuomo About His Secret Air Rights Deal!
In recent days it has been reported that the Governor, the Hudson River Park Trust, and a developer have struck a secret deal to transfer air rights from Pier 40 to the St. John's Building across the street to allow a larger development in that massive site than current zoning would allow. Air rights transfers from the Hudson River Park were made possible by state legislation passed last year.
What is particularly disturbing about this secret deal is that it would allow these air rights transfers to take place without their even having to go through a public city land use review and approval process, or ULURP; it would just require the approval of the Governor and legislative leaders in Albany.
GVSHP has been a vocal critic of allowing the transfers even through the ULURP process unless greater restrictions and safeguards to prevent overdevelopment are put in place and clearer answers about the number and source of air rights in the park and the parameters of where they can be transferred are provided. We have repeatedly pointed out that a ULURP is far from a guarantee of a good outcome or even one that reflects the interests of the local community (NYU's Expansion Plan, the St. Vincent's/Rudin Condo Rezoning, and the Chelsea Market Upzoning were all approved through the ULURP Process).
But at least through the ULURP process, the local affected community can have some leverage over the outcome, as any plan is subject to the approval of the City Council, over which the local City Councilmember can wield considerable influence.
Directly following the State Legislature's passage of the provision allowing the transfer of air rights from the Hudson River Park, GVSHP and allied community groups reached out to the Governor urging him NOT to allow the transfer of air rights from the park without subjecting it to the City's land use review and approval process.
Now that this secret deal has been revealed, we must increase the pressure on the Governor, and call upon him not to move ahead with any plan that would bypass even the City's modest public review process.
HOW TO HELP:
Find out more about the Hudson River Park Air Rights issue here.
Support these and other of GVSHP’s preservation efforts here.