Commission OKs 137-space garage near Ladies’Mile

Community Board 4 recommended disapproval unless parking was reduced by approximately 20 spaces. On September 24, 2008, the City Planning Commission approved AG West 22nd Street Realty LLC’s special permit application to build an attended public parking garage at 133-145 West 22nd Street in Chelsea, Manhattan. The special permit, if approved by Council, would allow a maximum of 137 spaces, with 47 parking spaces and 45 two-tier stackers on portions of the first floor, cellar, and sub-cellar of AG’s proposed mixed-use development. The new 99-unit residential building, with 2,211sq.ft. of ground floor retail space, would be an as-of-right development, but a special permit would be required for the parking garage. The proposed development is roughly bounded by 22nd and 23rd Streets between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

Community Board 4 opposed AG’s plan, in part, because it claimed that the surrounding streets would be ill-equipped to handle an increase in traffic. CB4’s letter to the Planning Commission noted that the proposed parking facility would be located on the northern midblock of West 22nd Street, a narrow street that is becoming primarily residential in character with ground floor commercial and retail uses. Also, CB4 found the facility to be at odds with the “City’s broad policy of reducing vehicle traffic in Manhattan below 110th Street,” and asked the Commission to deny AG’s application unless the number of parking spaces was reduced to 20 percent of the number of dwelling units, and a majority of those spaces were reserved for monthly parkers who live in the community. CB4 also requested that the 45 two-tier stackers be eliminated from the proposal.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer disagreed with CB4’s traffic analysis, and supported AG’s plan on the condition that the garage would be operated as it was studied in AG’s environmental assessment statement. The EAS assumed that 83 vehicles would park in the garage overnight, 17 from accessory use and 66 from the public. Stringer noted that since the EAS was completed before AG increased the proposed number of residential units from 89 to 99, AG should increase accessory use parking to 19 spaces if 99 units were constructed.

The Commission approved AG’s application 11-1, with only Commissioner Karen A. Phillips voting no. The Commission found that the garage would not create a significant adverse traffic impact since it would generate less than 50 additional vehicles per hour. The Commission also noted that a traffic study, submitted with AG’s EAS, stated that there would be “no difference in the level of service at the surrounding intersections.” Based on this finding, the Commission determined that the surrounding streets would be able to handle the increased traffic.

ULURP Process
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: MN 4,Den’d, 35-5-0
Boro.Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 11-1-0
Council: App’d, 51-0-1

CPC: West 22nd Street Garage (C 070261 ZSM – special permit) (September 24, 2008). CITYADMIN

CITYLAND Comment: The City Council approved the application without modification on October 23, 2008.

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