By Brittany Loggins
The massive luxury apartment towers being built just South of Central Park continue to multiply, and Committee Board 7 is considering sending a message to policy-makers that they want development halted, at least temporarily. The board’s land use committee held a meeting on Tuesday night to discuss whether to support a resolution from Community Board 5 (located South of the park) to call for a moratorium on the development of tall towers.
The meeting opened with a brief overview of the proposed buildings, as well as some photos that had been prepared by the Municipal Arts Society.
Shadow studies have been conducted to determine the amount of land that the buildings’ shadows will cover at varying points throughout the day. These studies compelled Community Board 5 to unanimously vote for a moratorium that would place a temporary hold on the buildings’ development.
Among other points, Committee Board 5’s moratorium says, “The new mega-towers will cast significantly longer shadows over Central Park than were ever anticipated by the by the NYC zoning resolution.”
However, shadows are not the only concern.
The document continues by saying, “There is no analysis as to the impact of mega-tall buildings on the infrastructure of New York City, including transportation, sanitation, sewage, storm resilience, parks, emergency services, historic resources…”
Olive Freud, community member and head of the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development agrees. Freud filed a petition against the buildings in which she says, “It is time to rethink our zoning and the manipulation of air rights that allow this unprecedented mega-development to be built, meanwhile placing a moratorium on further construction.”
For now the commonly held opinion is that Committee Board 7 will support Board 5’s moratorium until more concrete regulations can become a topic of debate.
“That’s what is concerning people,” said Page Cowley, co-chairperson of the Land Use Committee. “This is a change that effects not only a green space, but a landmark.”