Thursday, March 8, 2012

City turning blind eye to its own wetlands protection law

From SI Live:

The conflict continues over a Brooklyn-based developer's proposal to build 13 single-family detached homes in a 6.8-acre wooded area of Richmond adjacent to fragile freshwater wetlands. The wetlands comprise part of the Richmond Creek Bluebelt and drainage system for storm-water management, where deer and other wildlife are seen on a regular basis.

The proposal – from Max Gurvitch's Island Realty Associates LLC – is now before the city's Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), and local residents and civic leaders are concerned that widespread opposition to the project may be falling on deaf ears.

The firm acknowledges in written documents that the site "contains Freshwater Wetlands (1.36 acres) and Freshwater Wetland Adjacent Area (3.6 acres)." It further notes that the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) "would not allow the existing streets on the site to be opened as they are within" these wetland and wetland-adjacent areas.

"If the DEC will not allow streets to be built, why is it OK to build houses?" Ms. Donovan asked last week.

Better question: If they can't get DEC approval for this, then why is the BSA even considering it? I guess the wetlands initiative that is part of PlaNYC is just more Bloombergian bullcrap. Ever hear of Local Law 31 of 2009?

In May 2009, the City Council passed Intro. No. 506-A [Local Law 31 of 2009], which requires the City to identify remaining wetlands using a satellite or aerial survey, and to develop a Comprehensive Wetlands Protection Strategy (CWPS) to avoid and minimize loss of these valuable areas. The goals of the CWPS are to conserve, protect, enhance, stabilize, restore and expand City wetlands; to achieve no net loss of wetlands in the city; and to standardize and improve the City's approach regarding wetlands management. The CWSP is also required to consider current protections, as well as the value of wetlands to the City in terms of economics,
ecological functions and aesthetics.


Mayor Bumberg said...


I thought that's where my developer friends could piss with immunity.

Isn't that what a wetland is for?

Anonymous said...


Where's Dr. Cervino, the "champion" of wetlands?

Anonymous said...

"Wetlands" designation only counts if it's in an area the Manhattan powers-that-be deem important. Interestingly, Manhattan has little, if any, wetlands areas, but lots of concentrated money . . . Notice that Money, not law, allows BSA cases to procede.

Anonymous said...

All of the wetlands areas in Manhattan were filled in a long time ago.