Community gardens slated for affordable housing

Site contains six community gardens. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development fIled an application for the disposition of City-owned land and designation of an Urban Development Action Area for the construction of the Courtlandt Avenue Apartments, a five-story, 1 67- unit, low-income housing project in the Bronx.

The 55,980 sq.ft. project site, bounded by Courtlandt and Park Avenues and East 158th and 159th Streets, is comprised of 16 lots, of which 1 1 are vacant, two contain abandoned buildings, and three contain six community gardens. The six gardens are part of the 543 City community gardens subject to a 2002 settlement agreement between the City and the State Attorney General. 8 CityLaw 116 (2002) . Under the agreement, 198 gardens became permanent open spaces, 38 were set for development, and 114 became subject to a review process that could ultimately lead to development.

The six gardens on the project site were all subject to the garden review process, which required the City to offer the affected gardeners alternative properties for their gardens. At the October 5, 2004 public hearing before the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions, opponents to the development, including gardeners from the 314 East 159th Sunshine Garden, claimed that the City had not complied with the review process. HPD testified that alternative sites had been rejected by some gardeners, and no response was received to other offers.

The full Council approved the application on October 1 3, 2004.

ULURP Process: As co-lead agencies, City Planning and the Department of Environmental Protection determined that the project’s potential impacts were sufficiently studied in a 1 994 final environmental impact statement completed for the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area. On June 24, 2004, Community Board 1 approved and Borough President Adolfo Carrion agreed on August 3, 2004. Following a public hearing on August 1 1 , 2004, the Planning Commission approved on September 8, 2004.

Council Res. No. 632 (October 13, 2004); CPC Cal. No. 24, C 040521 HAX (UDAAP/disposition of land) (September 8, 2004) (Courtlandt Ave. Apts.) . CITYADMIN

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