CPC reduces parking spaces for W. 53rd St. development

Commission declined to use quarter-mile radius test to determine the sufficiency of available parking nearby. On March 4, 2009, the City Planning Commission approved, with modification, 405 West 53rd Development Group LLC’s special permit application for a 37-space accessory parking garage. The garage would be located on portions of the cellar and ground floor of an 84-unit, as-of-right residential building located at 405-427 West 53rd Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan.

At the Commission’s January 21st public hearing, Anthony Borelli, Director of Land Use for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, spoke in opposition, stating that the garage was unnecessary given the ample amount of available parking within a quarter-mile radius of the project site. 6 CityLand 5 (Feb. 15, 2009). Anna Levin, of Community Board 4, stated that sufficient parking existed even if the radius was reduced to three blocks, especially since an 81-space parking garage located on the same block would soon be reopened. CB4 was willing to accept 17 spaces (parking for about 20 percent of the total units), but Stringer recommended that the application be completely denied because the applicant failed to prove that there was insufficient parking within the vicinity of the site. Stringer, in his recommendation report, noted that over a thousand parking spaces were usually vacant within a quarter-mile radius of the site.

The Commission granted the special permit, but reduced the maximum amount of permitted accessory spaces to 30. According to the 2006 American Community Survey, the 84-unit residential building would generate a demand for approximately 39 parking spaces. Although 39 spaces may have been available within a quarter-mile radius of the site, the Commission found that the appropriate radius for assessing available parking was “smaller” than the quarter-mile radius normally used to assess potential significant impacts under the City’s environmental review process. Employing this smaller radius, the Commission determined that only 30 parking spaces were needed. Although the imminent reopening of the 81-space garage could partially satisfy the demand for parking, the Commission found it inappropriate to assume that all of the building’s residents would be accommodated there.

ULURP Review
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: MN 4,Den’d, 38-0-0
CPC: App’d, 12-0-0
Council: App’d, 48-0-3

CPC: 405-427 West 53rd Street Garage (C 070305 ZSM – spec. perm.) (March 4, 2009). CITYADMIN

CITYLANDComment: On April 2, 2009, the City Council approved the application, as modified by the Planning Commission

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